TEXAS TECH BILL BRIEFS – 2003

 

78th Regular Session – 04-21-03

 

Bill No.

Sponsor

Caption – HOUSE BILLS

 

 

 

HB 1

 

SB 1

Heflin,

Houston

Bivins,

Amarillo

Relating to the appropriations of money for the 2004-2005 biennium.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

General Appropriations Act.

 

 

 

HB 2

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to the reorganization of, efficiency in, and other reform measures applying to state government.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill represents a multitude of the e-Texas recommendations.  Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0515.  This bill requires the Coordinating Board to perform a review of the organization and operation of each university system office to identify appropriate organizational structures for university systems and system offices; identify and quantify workforce and other resources at each system office; and determine the extent to which system administration employees are performing services and functions that are also provided by employees of individual component institutions of each university system.  The board would be required to examine each major function, service, or activity performed by the university system offices, including central administration, academic affairs coordination, general council and other legal services, budgeting, accounting, and data processing, fiscal management, facilities planning and construction, governmental relations, audit services, real estate management, information technology services, and aircraft operation and usage.

 

The board would be required to prepare a report not later than November 1, 2004 to be delivered to the Lt. Governor, Speaker, Legislative Budget Board, and chair of the standing committees of each house of the legislature with primary jurisdiction over the higher education.  The board would be required to state its findings and identify opportunities for legislative and administrative action relating to the reorganization of university system offices and functions, the consolidation or reorganization of university systems, and the consolidation or centralization of functions, services, or activities of university system offices.  The board would be required to identify potential reductions in personnel and other cost savings associated with each legislative or administrative action that the board identifies.  See HB 2505, Swinford.

 

This bill would require a state agency that spends less undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources than is appropriated to the agency for a fiscal year to send notice to the comptroller before October 30th of the savings realized.  The comptroller shall verify the amount.  The affected agency would be allowed to retain one-half of the amount of the savings, not to exceed one percent of the amount of undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources appropriated to the agency for the fiscal year.  e-Texas GG-17.  Same as HB 634, Campbell.  See HB 651, Pitts.

 

Amends Government Code, Section 403.011(b) and adds Sections 321.013(j), 322.015, 656.050, 2056.002(f), 2115.001—2115.002.  This bill would require the State Auditor to develop fraud awareness training programs for use by state agencies.

 

The new sections of the bill direct the Legislative Budget Board to develop a system of performance measures to be used by state agencies for purposes of the appropriations process.  The LBB is required to keep the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee informed of the board’s activities.  Each state agency will be required to provide information to the LBB to assist with the development of the performance measures.

 

The bill would require each state agency, including an institution of higher education, to provide fraud awareness training to the employees of the agency within ninety days of the date that the employee begins employment.  All current employees would be required to complete the training in a timely manner.

 

The bill contains a new section regarding risk assessment and financial control systems.  In this section, a state agency is defined as any agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government, including an institution of higher education, except a public junior college, and a health-related institution that is associated with an institution of higher education.  Each executive director of a state agency would be required to furnish to the Governor, Legislative Budget Board, and the State Auditor, a letter that provides assurance that the state agency’s risk assessment and financial control systems not later than September 30th of each year.  The letter would be required to include statements regarding identification and review of risks that affect the agency’s operation and the achievement of its mission, that appropriate action has been taken to manage and reduce the actual and potential effects of risks identified, reviewed the agency’s financial control systems, and to the best of the person’s knowledge after reasonable efforts to obtain accurate information that the financial control systems protect the state’s resources and that the financial information fairly represents the financial condition and results of the agency’s operations.  See HB 1742, Swinford.

 

This bill amends Government Code by adding Sections 2165.007, 2165.057, and 2206.001--2206.003.  Institutions of higher education are exempt from the TBPC building and grounds oversight.  This bill gives the commission greater authority regarding facilities management services for other state agencies.  See HB 2464, Swinford.

 

This bill requires each state agency to include as part of its 2006-2007 legislative appropriations request detailed information regarding real property owned by the agency.  The information would include total acres owned, total building space, location of property, historical or acquisition cost of property, appraised market value, current and expected use, recommendations on the retention or disposition of property owned, and estimated impact, if any, on the capital charge system on the federal direct and indirect cost recovery.  The bill establishes the Texas Agency Infrastructure Commission to investigate the number and function of state agency field offices and to recommend the collocation or closure of state agency field offices, if appropriate.  The commission would be appointed by the Governor, with recommendations from the Lt. Governor and Speaker for one member each, one member appointed by the Land Commissioner, and one member appointed by the Comptroller.  The commission and these new requirements would expire on September 1, 2004.  e-Texas GG14.  See SB 388, Ellis, R.

 

This bill would require that each state agency contacted by the department shall furnish to the department an inventory of the land the agency holds and an assessment of the potential of each property listed on the inventory for use in a public hunting program to be managed by the department.  The department would be required to assess and identify land appropriate for public hunting.  The department determines that the economic benefit of making the land available for public hunting is greater than the costs to the state, the department would be required to prepare a detailed proposal to implement the program.  Before the program is implemented, the department and the affected agency must agree on the terms of the proposal.  Public lands named in this section include the permanent university fund.

 

Amends Government Code, Chapter 2055, by adding Subchapter E and amends Section 2055.001(1).  This bill adds to the responsibilities of the program management office at the Department of Information Resources.  Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from the oversight of the program management office.  This bill requires the program management office to implement a return on investment program for major information resources projects that exceed $1 million to quantify, measure, evaluate, and verify technology investment benefits for the government and residents of the state.  The quality assurance team of the LBB shall select the projects for the return on investment program.  e-Texas GG 19.  See HB 1308, Pitts.

 

This bill would allow an officer or employee of a public junior college or a school district who is engaged in official business to participate in the Texas Building and Procurement Commission’s contracts for travel services.  The bill would restrict reimbursements to only the contract rates negotiated by the commission.  See HB 898, Hamilton.

 

Amends Government Code, Section 2056.0021; adds Sections 659.262; 670.001-670.002; 651.004(c-1), 651.004(c-2), 651.004(c-3), and 651.004(c); repeals Section 656.048(b).  This bill would allow agencies subject to the State Classification Plan to provide one-time recruitment payments not to exceed $5,000, or one-time additional deferred compensation payments not to exceed $5,000 to recruit or retain specific employees.

 

Currently, institutions of higher education are not required to file a strategic plan with the Governor’s Budget and Planning Office and the LBB.  Those agencies that are required to file a strategic plan would be required to file additional information regarding their workforce planning.

 

This bill would require the governing body of agencies in the executive branch of state government, including institutions of higher education to enter into agreements with employees who serve in upper management positions, including the chief executive officer or chief administrator of the agency.  The agreement must communicate to the upper management employee the overall organizational goals and specific strategic aims of the agency, specific performance measures and targets for which the upper management employee is responsible, and explain procedures for which the employee shall be held accountable.

 

Then the bill develops a sliding scale for required targets for management positions to FTEs in non-managerial staff positions.  A state agency with more than one hundred FTEs would be prohibited from employing more than one FTE in a management position for every eight FTEs in a non-managerial staff position on or after August 31, 2004.  After August 31, 2005, the ratio would be required to be one to nine; after August 31, 2006, the ratio would be required to be one to ten; and after September 1, 2006, the ratio must be one to eleven.  e-Texas GG 10.  See HB 1318, Swinford.

 

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 670.  This bill defines a state agency and specifically excludes a university system or institution of higher education.  The bill requires state agencies to adjust their human resources staff depending on the number of full-time equivalent employees that work for an agency.  e-Texas GG 11.  See HB 906, Gallego. 

 

Amends Government Code, Section 2151.003 and 2151.004.  This bill would rename the Texas Building and Procurement Commission as the State Administrative Services Agency.

 

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Section 387.0015.  This bill would abolish the Texas Council on Environmental Technology and transfer its responsibilities to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

 

Amends Government Code, by adding Section 2054.062.  This bill would require DIR to create a program that automatically generates letterhead for a state agency on an agency computer.

 

Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 3

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to heath care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to medical malpractice claims by structuring payments for future losses, allowing consideration of collateral source benefits of the claimant, placing various limitations on the amount of damages a claimant may recover, placing limitations on contingency fees for attorneys, and establishing new qualifications for expert witnesses in suits against health care providers.  See HB 709, Nixon; SB 158, Nelson; HB 579, Eiland; SB 1598, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 4

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to reform of certain procedures and remedies in civil actions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This is the medical malpractice reform and tort reform bill.

 

 

 

HB 6

 

SB 104

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the regulation and enforcement of the practice of medicine by the State Board of Medical Examiners.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the sections regarding physician education and assistance programs and the section regarding required suspension or revocation of license.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 7

 

SB 1860

Heflin,

Houston

Bivins,

Amarillo

Relating to making supplemental appropriations and making reductions in current appropriations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill is the bill to implement the seven percent reductions for FY 2003.  The reductions for:

 

          Texas Tech University System Administration is $35,000

          Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is $6,352,655

          Texas Tech University is $7,375,114

 

from the general revenue fund.  These are the amounts submitted by the TTUS components in response to the seven percent reduction letter.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 9

Flores,

Mission

Relating to homeland security.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines agency as any governmental entity.  The bill also defines critical infrastructure to include all public or private assets, systems, and functions vital to the security, governance, public health and safety, economy, or moral of the state.  The bill directs the Governor to develop a statewide homeland security strategy that improves the state’s ability to detect and deter threats to the homeland security, respond to homeland security emergencies, and recover from homeland security emergencies.  The bill establishes the Critical Infrastructure Protection Council that consists of twenty appointed or elected officers of state government.  None representing higher education are included.  The council is required to advise the Governor on the development and coordination of a statewide critical infrastructure protection strategy, the implementation of the Governor’s homeland security strategy and other measures relating to the planning, development, coordination, and implementation of initiatives to promote the Governor’s homeland security strategy.  The bill does direct that the Department of Public Safety to provide facilities and administrative support for the Texas Infrastructure Protection Communications Center.  See SB 869, Shapiro and SB 11, Shapiro.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 10

Heflin,

Houston

Relating to the use of dedicated revenue during a state budget crisis.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 403.0955.  This bill states that notwithstanding any law dedicating or setting aside revenue for a particular purpose or entity, the revenue that has been set aside by law for a particular purpose or entity is available for general governmental purposes during a current biennium if the comptroller certifies that appropriations from general revenue made by the preceding legislature for the current biennium exceeds available general revenues and cash balances for the remainder of the current biennium and during the succeeding biennium if an estimate of anticipated revenues for the succeeding biennium is less than the revenues that are estimated at the current time by the comptroller to be available for the current biennium.

 

These revenues could be considered available for the purpose of certification of the General Appropriations Act.  This section does not apply to revenues or balances in funds outside the treasury, trust funds, funds created by the constitution or a court, or funds for which separate accounting is required by federal law.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 18

 

SB 85

Corte,

San Antonio

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to excepting military discharge records from required public disclosure and providing that only the veteran and the veteran’s immediate family may inspect or obtain copies of records.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a new exception to the Public Information Act for a military veteran’s Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record.  Same bill as HB 165, Uresti.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 37

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Relating to speed limits near a facility where a school-related activity is held.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a governing body of a municipality, the commissioner’s court of a county, or the Texas Transportation Commission to lower the prima facie speed limit for a highway without an engineering and traffic investigation if the governmental entity determines that the highway is near a public school or an institution of higher education, the current speed limit is unreasonable, and a lower prima facie speed limit is necessary for the safety of the persons attending the school or institution.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 39

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to the applicability of certain requirements regarding security devices on leased dwellings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill adds an additional exception to the keyless-deadbolt statute for residual housing owned and operated by a nonprofit organization if all the residents are of the same sex and primarily enrolled in a public or private college or university.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 43

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to grants made by the Council on Environmental Technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the criteria by which a member of the Texas Council on Environmental Technology may abstain from a vote to award a grant to the member’s employer.  This bill would be beneficial to TTU because the university currently has two faculty members on the council.  See SB 620, Armbrister.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 46

 

SB 124

Turner, S.

Houston

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the continuance of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board and the limitation on deposits to the telecommunications infrastructure fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the extension of the collection of funding for the TIF until the amount collected is $2 billion.  The bill also authorizes the continuation of the TIF Board until September 1, 2009.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 50

Turner,

Sylvester

Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to meet with certain persons affecting the education of the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill authorizes an employee to use up to ten hours of leave in each twelve month period to meet with the employee’s child’s teacher, counselor, or principal.  See SB 33, Zaffirini.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 55

Wise,

Weslaco

Relating to sex offender registration requirements imposed on certain workers or students at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 62.01 and adds Article 62.063.  This bill would require an individual who is required to register as a sex offender to also register, not later than the seventh day after beginning work or attending school, with the authority for campus security for each public or private institution of higher education.  The individual would also be required to notify the authority for campus security of a change in status within seven days of terminating employment or enrollment.

 

Note:  Current federal law (42 U.S.C. 14071) requires a state that requires an individual to register as a sex offender to provide notice as required under state law of each institution of higher education in the state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student, and of each change in enrollment or employment status.  See SB 166, Shapiro.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 58

Wise,

Weslaco

Relating to reimbursing veterans for the cost of required textbooks and similar required course materials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 56.011.  This bill would require each institution of higher education to establish a program to reimburse students who receive a tuition exception under Section 54.203 (veterans and certain dependents) for the cost of required textbooks and similar required course materials.  The Coordinating Board would be required to include funding for the program in its funding formulas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 76

Wise,

Weslaco

Relating to procedures adopted by a state entity to ensure an employment preference for veterans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require public entities to prepare and make available for public inspection a statement of any measures taken by the entity to ensure that veterans receive the employment preference required by law and any remedies available when a veteran is not hired or appointed to a position with the entity.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 85

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to the establishment of an undergraduate medical academy at Prairie View A&M University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, adding Section 87.108.  This bill would establish the Prairie View A&M Undergraduate Medical Academy to prepare students for medical school. The bill sets forth the eligibility requirements for the students and the services to be provided by the academy.  See SB 1009, West, R.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 88

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to coverage by state employees insurance programs of pharmaceutical prescriptions to assist in stopping smoking.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit the board of trustees from contracting for or providing a coverage plan that does not provide for coverage of pharmaceutical prescriptions to assist in stopping smoking.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 89

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to a leave of absence for certain state employees who are donating an organ, bone marrow, or blood.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill provides for a paid leave of absence to serve as a bone-marrow or organ donor.  Five working days per fiscal year are granted to serve as a bone-marrow donor and thirty working days to serve as an organ donor.  A state agency would also be required to allow an employee sufficient time off without a reduction in salary or accrued leave to donate blood.  This leave cannot exceed four times in a fiscal year.  See SB 149, Barrientos.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 91

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to the automatic admission of certain undergraduate transfer students.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.801 and adds Section 51.8065.  This bill would provide for automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution for an undergraduate transfer student who received a degree or certificate from a public junior college or public technical institute in a program requiring at least thirty semester credit hours, including the courses required in the core curriculum and completed the program with a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4-point scale.  Admission to a specific institution is contingent upon space availability for admission of additional students.  An institution would be allowed to establish admissions to a particular program or school within the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 133

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to the constitutional limitations on the rate of growth of appropriations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish a new methodology for determining the rate of growth of appropriations in a biennium.  This would require approval of the voters on a constitutional amendment.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 134

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the pilot program for reduced undergraduate tuition during summer term or session at certain institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0514.  This bill would change the dates for the permissive pilot program for reduced undergraduate tuition during a summer session at Texas A&M University and Texas A&M University—Kingsville to the academic years 2004 and 2005 if the legislature specifically appropriates money to the institution for the pilot program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 150

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to the establishment of a geriatrics research academy at the Texas Tech University campus in El Paso.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 110.17.  This bill requires the board of regents of Texas Tech University System to establish the Texas Tech Geriatric Education and Care Research Academy not later than January 1, 2005 for the purpose of researching issues related to long-term care, geriatrics, gerontology, and providing resources for training and research for professionals in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 152

 

SB 137

Wilson,

Houston

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to certain life insurance policies insuring the life of an employee.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill prohibits an individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other legal entity who is the employer of an individual who is insured under a life insurance policy from being designated as a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of the policy.  This prohibition does not apply when the employer is a corporation, joint stock association, trust estate, or a partnership.  See HB 978, Dukes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 165

 

SB 85

Uresti,

San Antonio

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the excepting military discharge records from required public disclosure and providing that only the veteran and the veteran’s immediate family may inspect or obtain copies of the records.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a new exception to the Public Information Act for a military veteran’s Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record.  Same bill as HB 18, Corte.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 174

 

SB 1880

Howard,

Sugar Land

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to benefits for members of the state military forces called to active state duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would ensure that a member of the state military forces who is ordered to active state duty by the governor or by other proper authority is entitled to the same benefits and protections provided to persons performing service in the uniformed services by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and to persons in the military service of the United States as the laws existed on April 1, 2003.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 176

McCall,

Plano

Relating to the contents of a receipt issued for payment of a good or service by debit or credit card.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

If a credit card or debit card is used to pay for goods or services, this bill would prohibit a seller from issuing a sales receipt or other document evidencing the transaction unless at least four digits of the cardholder’s credit card account number or debit card account number are omitted from the receipt or document.  A violation of this law would carry a civil penalty not to exceed $500.  See HB 277, Hopson and SB 235, Fraser.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 180

Ellis,

Huntsville

Relating to a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives certain medical services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to hospital and emergency medical services liens.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 197

Wohlgemuth,

Burleson

Relating to health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to medical malpractice claims.  It amends the sections relating to settlement and offers, establishes a cause of action for a bad faith claim, amends the sections relating to the statute of limitation on minors, amends the sections relating to requirements regarding expert witnesses, prohibits depositions prior to filing of lawsuit, establishes requirements for consideration of collateral source benefits, establishes criteria for payment of future losses and places limitations on contingency fees for attorneys.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 219

Hope,

Conroe

Relating to the display of the United States national motto in public elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require a public school and an institution of higher education to display the United States national motto “In God We Trust,” on an appropriately framed background of at least 11” x 14” in each classroom, auditorium, and cafeteria.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 243

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to the possession or carrying of weapons on certain premises associated with a school or educational institution.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow an individual who has a valid license to carry a concealed handgun or has a rifle or shotgun to carry or possess the weapon on the premises of an educational institution if the premises are a public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.  The weapon would have to remain in the motor vehicle at all times if the individual is returning from or traveling to a hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity, or the rifle or shotgun or handgun is being used in an activity sponsored by the educational institution or professional organization that requires the use of the rifle, shotgun, or handgun, such as sports shooting competition, handgun proficiency course, or hunter training safety course.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 255

Hochberg,

Houston

Relating to exempting peace officers enrolled in law enforcement programs from tuition charged by a public institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow individuals employed by an agency or political subdivision of this state who is enrolled in a degree or certificate program in law enforcement to be exempt from the payment of tuition and fees for a course in which the person enrolls to satisfy a requirement for the degree or certificate program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 256

Hochberg,

Houston

Relating to excused absences for religious holy days for students in institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.911(b) and repeals Subsection (c).  These amendments would excuse a student from attending classes for the observance of a religious holiday, including travel for that purpose. The bill eliminates the requirement that the student notify the professor in writing not later than the 15th day after the first day of the semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 258

 

SB 1560

Pickett,

El Paso

Madla,

San ANtonio

Relating to correcting errors in the distribution of benefits by a public retirement system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill directs the governing body of a public retirement system to correct an error in the records and to adjust future payments so that the actuarial equivalent of benefit is paid to the person entitled.  An overpayment may only be corrected for the two years proceeding the date the governing body of the system discovers the overpayment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 261

 

SB 1102

Hupp,

Lampasas

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to the eligibility of armed forces personnel and their family members to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided to Texas residents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.058 by adding Subsection (j).  This bill would authorize a member of the armed forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member who is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Texas residents under another provision of this section while enrolled in a degree or certificate program to be entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Texas residents in any subsequent term or semester while the person is continuously enrolled and the person’s eligibility does not terminate because the person is no longer a member of the armed forces.  See HB 405, Miller.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 264

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to supplemental contributions to the optional retirement program by institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 830.2015.  This bill would authorize a governing board of an institution of higher education to make a contribution to the optional retirement program in any amount that is equal to or less than the difference between the amount that the state is required to contribute (eight and one-half percent) to the benefit of each participant employed by the institution and the amount the state appropriates for that purpose (six percent). The governing board may use any source of funds for the contribution.  See SB 1258, Armbrister.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 268

 

SB 476

Naishtat,

Austin

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to application of the hazing statutes to private institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.936.  This bill expands the definition of an institution of higher education for purposes of the hazing statutes to include private postsecondary educational institutions as defined by Section 61.302.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 273

 

SB 55

Naishtat,

Austin

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to forensic evidence training for students in certain medical or nursing degree programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.310.  This bill requires each institution of higher education that offers a program leading to a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree or to a degree that satisfies the educational requirement for licensure for a registered nurse to establish a course in forensic evidence collection and require completion of the course as a prerequisite to receiving the degree.  The bill requires the Coordinating Board to establish standards for the course.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 277

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Relating to the contents of a receipt or other document issued for payment by debit or credit card.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

If a credit card or debit card is used to pay for goods or services, this bill would prohibit a seller from issuing a sales receipt or other document evidencing the transaction unless at least four digits of the cardholder’s credit card account number or debit card account number are omitted from the receipt or document.  A violation of this law would carry a civil penalty not to exceed $500.  See HB 176, McCall and SB 235, Fraser.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 285

Ellis,

Huntsville

Relating to the amount of hazardous duty pay for certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would develop a schedule in five year increments beginning at $10 a month for up to five years of service and capping out at $25 a month for fifteen or more years of service.  Currently, these employees are entitled to $7 a month for each year of service not to exceed thirty years.  In essence, this would result in a pay decrease for some Tech police officers who are eligible for hazardous duty pay.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 286

Ellis,

Huntsville

Relating to exempting textbooks for university and college courses from the sales tax.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would exempt the sale of books from collection of sales tax if the books are purchased by full-time or part-time students enrolled in public or private institutions of higher education and the book is required for a course at the institution.  Effective date:  July 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 308

Denny,

Denton

Relating to exempting school supplies, textbooks, books and other instructional materials from the sales tax for a limited period.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill exempts the stated materials from sales tax for students enrolled in public or private elementary or secondary schools on the tax free holiday each year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 322

Noriega,

Houston

Relating to the use of sick and annual leave benefits by a state employee who sustains a compensable injury.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow an employee to receive worker’s compensation benefits and utilize sick leave or vacation leave in an amount equal to the difference between the WCI benefits and the weekly compensation the employee was receiving before the injury that resulted in the claim.  Currently, an employee may elect to receive WCI benefits or to utilize sick leave or vacation leave benefits but may not receive them both concurrently.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 328

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to certain information that may be obtained by a prospective employer from an applicant for employment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a prospective employer to request an applicant for employment to provide information regarding any injury, disability, or other medical condition of the applicant that directly relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.  An employer would be allowed to ask about the existence of any workers’ compensation claim for which the employee was paid benefits in this or any other state while the employee was employed by a prior employer.  If an employee fails to truthfully answer a medical inquiry, the employee would forfeit benefits if the medical condition for which the claim for benefits is made is related to a medical condition, disability, or injury that was not disclosed.  The employer would not be liable in a suit for damages solely because the prospective employer relied on the information in deciding not to hire the applicant.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 355

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to meet with certain persons affecting the education of the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize an employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least six consecutive months to up to ten hours of leave in each twelve-month period after written notice to the employer to meet at the request of a teacher, counselor, or principal, with the teacher, counselor, or principal.  The employee is entitled to use existing vacation leave time, personal leave time, compensatory leave time, or other appropriate paid leave for a planned absence as authorized, but is not required to use these leaves.  Otherwise, the leave would be unpaid leave.  The employer is prohibited from retaliating against the employee who takes leave under this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 356

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to participate in certain school activities of the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employer as a person who employs ten or more employees at the same work place and includes a public employer.  This bill would authorize an employee to time off to meet with a teacher of the employee’s child or participate in a school activity of the employee’s child.  The employee is entitled to 2 hours in each semester.  The employee must give reasonable advance written notice of the planned absence.  The employee is not required to use existing vacation, personal, or compensatory leave time.  The employee would be required to provide documentation to the employer of the employee’s participation in a particular school activity on the employer’s request.  The employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who has given written notice of a planned absence as provided by this chapter.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 359

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to a restriction on the mandatory arbitration of certain employment disputes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill prohibits an employer from imposing as a condition of employment of an at-will employee mandatory arbitration of a dispute involving an unlawful employment practice for which an employee may file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 362

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to in-prison geriatric communities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the institutional division of TDCJ to establish a program to confine and treat in-prison geriatric communities inmates who are sixty years of age or older.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 365

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to an exemption from or refund of tuition and fees for certain lower-division students enrolled at Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.220.  This bill would entitle an entering freshman student enrolled at Texas Southern University or Prairie View A&M University to a refund of tuition and required fees paid by the student if the student is a graduate of a public or private high school in Texas, classified as a Texas resident, and completes all courses attempted in the initial semester with a grade point average of at least 2.0.  The student is also entitled to exemption from the payment of tuition and required fees for the other semesters of the student’s first two academic years if the student graduated from a public or private high school in Texas, is classified as a Texas resident and maintains an overall grade-point average of at least 2.0 for all prior coursework attempted by the student.  The two universities named in this bill would be entitled to fund tuition and fee refunds and exemptions from local funds or from funds appropriated to the legislature.  The refunds or exemptions are not required to exceed amounts appropriated specifically for these purposes.  This section would expire September 1, 2024.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 371

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to certain restrictions on the arbitration of an employment dispute.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit an employer from requiring an at-will employee to agree to mandatory arbitration as a condition of employment before the ninety-first day after the date on which the employee begins the employment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 377

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to service retirement and death benefits for certain peace officers under the Teacher Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 824.204 and 824.402 and adds Sections 821.001(20), 824.2032, and 824.4061.  Peace officer is defined as a member of the Teacher Retirement System who has commissioned as a peace officer under Section 51.203, Education Code, by a state institution of higher education or public technical institute.  This new section would provide a supplemented service retirement annuity for paid, full-time peace officer with at least twenty-five years of service credit as a peace officer in the retirement system and whose employer elects to fund the standard supplemented retirement annuity.  The supplemented annuity would be computed by multiplying the member’s number of years of service credit in the retirement system times the member’s average monthly compensation, times the sum of the multiplier plus .5 percent.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 379

Dutton,

Summary:

Relating to the right of an employee to inspect the employee’s personnel records.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill gives an employee the right to inspect the employee’s personnel records with the exception of certain documents relating to an investigation of possible criminal offence; documents that are being developed or prepared for the use in a civil, criminal, or grievance procedure; or materials that are used by the employer to plan for future operations.  The employee must provide a written request to the employee to see the personnel records.  This does not entitle an employee to the right to remove any part of the employee’s personnel records from the file.  The employee and employer may agree to remove or correct any information in the file.  An employee may submit a written statement explaining the employee’s position regarding disputed information in the file.  Failure to comply with this new section would constitute an unlawful employment practice.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 385

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to the liability of health care providers at free medical clinics.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would protect a health care provider, very broad definition, from liability for civil damages for health care provided to a person at a medical clinic that regularly offers such services, that was provided in good faith, that the act is not willfully or wantonly negligent, and that the health care provider performed the service without the expectation of receiving a fee or any other compensation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 386

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to liability for emergency care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the liability for civil damages for individuals performing emergency care unless the care is provided in a willful or wantonly negligent manner.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 391

 

SB 87

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the participation of institutions of higher education in electronic government.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2055.001 and 2177.0001; repeals Sections 2055.002 and 2177.005.  This bill would eliminate the permissive authority for institutions of higher education to participate in the statewide electronic programs.  The bill would require institutions to participate in the electronic government program and the electronic procurement program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 400

Mowery,

Forth Worth

Relating to false claims against the state and actions by private persons to procedure those claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the requirements for “Qui-tam actions” in Texas. 

 

 

 

HB 405

Miller,

Stephenville

Relating to resident tuition for military personnel and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.058(c), (b), (f) and (g).  This bill would allow the spouse or child of a member of the armed forces to pay the tuition, fees and other charges as provided for Texas residents so long as the spouse or child resides continuously in Texas, even if the member of the armed forces is assigned to duty elsewhere immediately following the assignment to duty in Texas.  See HB 261, Hupp.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 415

Flores,

Mission

Relating to state funding of courses offered for joint high school and junior college credit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Repeals Education Code, Section 130.008(d).  This bill would remove the section that requires the commissioner of education and the commissioner of higher education to develop a mechanism to identify and eliminate duplication of state funding for courses for joint high school and junior college credit. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 419

Martinez Fischer

San Antonio

Relating to public access to certain information and materials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would repeal several sections of the Occupations Code that protect information and materials compiled in connection with a complaint or investigation from public access.  These occupations include speech-language pathologists, athletic trainers, social workers, and dieticians.  The bill also amends the sections regarding information compiled in connection with a complaint or investigation of certain hospitals or mental hospitals.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 425

 

SB 95

Christian,

Center

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to requiring a state agency to consider legislative intent during the process of adopting an agency rule.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require each state agency before giving notice of intention to adopt a rule to determine whether the proposed rule is consistent with the legislature’s intent in enacting or otherwise affecting the law and informing each author and sponsor of the legislation that the rule is being considered.  Each state agency would be required to deliver a copy of the proposed rules to each member of the legislature.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 432

Bonnen,

Angleton

Relating to the creation of an offense involving certain sales of tickets to events.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a criminal offense for an individual who resells or offers to resell a ticket to an event for a price that is more than $5 over the price authorized to be offered to the public by the event sponsor.  The level of the criminal offense is determined by the number of tickets sold or attempted to be resold.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 437

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to an exemption from public disclosure for information that is collected, assembled, or maintained for purpose of emergency management or disaster planning.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 418.175.  This bill would exempt information that is collected, assembled, or maintained for purposes of emergency management or disaster planning from required disclosure under the Public Information Act if the person in possession of the information believes that disclosure of the information would compromise or interfere with implementation of the emergency management or disaster plan of the state agency or political subdivision.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 459

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to annual vacation leave accrual for state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would increase the number of hours per month that can accrue as vacation leave and the number of hours that can be carried forward from one fiscal year to the next.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 484

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to automatic admission to graduate or professional degree programs at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.810.  This bill would require an institution of higher education that offers a graduate or professional degree program to admit to the degree program an applicant for admission if the applicant graduates from an institution of higher education with a bachelor’s degree and with a grade point average in the top ten percent of the applicant’s graduating class.  If there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in a particular program, the institution shall conduct a lottery to award the spaces and an eligible applicant not selected may delay admission to the institution until space is available.  The grade point average may be determined at the beginning of the semester in which the student is entitled to graduate.  If the student fails to graduate in the top ten percent of the class, the institution may withdraw, but is not required to, an offer of admission to the student even if the student has accepted the offer.  This law would apply to admissions for the 2004 fall semester.  See SB 1008, West, R.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 506

 

SB 258

Deshotel,

Port Arthur

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the tuition charged by institutions of higher education for high school students enrolled in college-level courses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.216.  This new section would allow a governing board of an institution of higher education to waive all or part of the tuition and fees charged by the institution for a high school student enrolled in a course for which the student is entitled to simultaneously receive both high school academic credit and course credit toward a degree offered by the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 511

 

SB 766

Castro,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to a pilot program to monitor the postsecondary educational plans of seniors at certain public high schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 7.027.  This new section would require the Texas Education Agency to establish a postsecondary education survey pilot program to survey high school seniors on whether they are planning to attend, have been accepted for admission, and the name of the postsecondary educational institution, if applicable.  The agency would be required to compile a comprehensive annual report.  The agency would be required to select five noncharter high schools located in a municipality that has at least ten independent school districts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 525

 

SB 309

Noriega,

Houston

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to providing health care services without regard to a person’s immigration status.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a municipality, a county, public hospital, or a hospital district to use money from state or local sources to provide medical and hospital care to a person without regard to the person’s immigration status.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 529

 

SB 830

Brown, B.

Terrell

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to the eligibility of a delinquent child support obligor to receive state-funded or state-administered student financial assistance.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would prohibit an individual who is a child support obligor who is more than thirty days delinquent in paying child support from receiving a scholarship, a loan associated with an educational loan repayment conditioned on the performance of some service obligation after graduation, or a federally funded educational loan that is administered by the state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 531

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to tuition rebate incentives for persons who complete certain degree and certificate programs without excessive credit hours.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0065.  This bill would expand the tuition rebate incentive program to include qualified students at public junior colleges, public technical institutes, or general academic teaching institutions that offer only freshman-level and sophomore-level courses to be eligible for up to $500 of tuition rebate if the student was awarded an associate degree that requires at least sixty semester credit hours and has attempted no more than three hours in excess of the minimum number required to complete the degree.  The bill makes provisions to appropriate the money to the colleges to reimburse them for the rebates.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 564

Haggerty,

El Paso

Relating to an exemption for certain military personnel and veterans from the requirements of the Texas Academic Skills Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.306(r).  This bill would expand the exemptions from the requirements of the Texas Academic Skills Program to include individuals who are serving in the Texas National Guard; students who are currently serving and, for at least the last three-year period preceding enrollment, has served as a member of the reserve component of the armed forces; or a student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces, the Texas National Guard, or completed service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces.  See SB 814, Averitt.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 574

Farrar,

Houston

Relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a covered entity from subjecting an individual to different standards or treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, discriminating against an individual based on sexual orientation or gender identity of persons with whom the individual associates; or otherwise discriminating against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The bill does have sections covering the prohibition against retaliation and coercion.  The bill would also waive sovereign immunity to the extent of liability created by this bill.  The bill does not apply to the provision of employee benefits to an individual for the benefit of the individual’s partner.  See HB 3463, Villarreal.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 579

 

SB 158

Eiland,

Galveston

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to limiting liability of physicians and health care providers for charitable care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the liability for damages in civil actions based on medical care or health care provided by a physician or health care provider if the physician or health care provider provided the care in good faith and without willful or wanton negligence, provided the care without expectation of compensation, and the patient or the patient’s parent signs a written statement acknowledging that the care is provided without expectation of compensation and a realization of the limitation on the recovery of damages.  The bill limits the liability of a hospital for care provided under these circumstances to $500,000.  See HB 3, Nixon and HB 709, Nixon; SB 1598, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB  592

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to energy efficiency programs developed by the energy office.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes energy efficiency programs for residential housing and pieces of agricultural equipment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 593

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to the eligibility of certain persons to contract with a state agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would apply to agencies that are subject to the Building and Procurement Commission rules regarding purchasing and procurement.  The bill would prohibit a state agency from accepting a bid or awarding a contract to an individual who has participated in preparing the specifications or request for proposals.  A state agency would also be prohibited from contracting with an entity that has been deemed a barred vendor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 595

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to the establishment of a program for the disposition of electronic equipment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires the Commission on Environmental Quality to establish a program for the disposition of electronic equipment including computers, printers, copiers, televisions, monitors, facsimile machines, or video game players or devices with a computer chip or circuit board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 612

Castro,

San Antonio

Relating to notice to certain public school high school seniors and their parents or guardians of automatic college admissions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 28.026.  Current law requires that senior students be notified at the commencement of the senior year of the automatic college admission for the top ten percent of each class.  These amendments would change the notification date to not later than October 15 of a class’s senior year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 613

Castro,

San Antonio

Relating to requiring institutions of higher education to use uniform grading methods for each class or section of the same course.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9315.  This bill would require each institution of higher education to ensure that a uniform grading policy is used to determine the final course grade for each class or section of the same or substantially the same course during an academic year.  At a minimum, the same numeric or other scale would be required.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 625

 

SB 350

Lewis,

Mauriceville

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to equal access to places of public accommodation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines public accommodation as a business or other entity that offers to the general public food, shelter, recreation, or amusement, or any other goods, service, privilege, facility, or accommodation.  The bill would prohibit a person that owns or operates a public accommodation from restricting an individual’s access or admission to the accommodation from using the accommodations solely because of the race, creed, sex, religion, or national origin of the individual; or because the individual operates a motorcycle, is a member of an organized motorcycle group, or wears clothing that displays the name of the organization or association.  The bill does provide an exemption for private or independent institutions of higher education and for students attending public or private school.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 626

Reyna,

Mesquite

Relating to exempting textbooks for university and college courses from the sales tax.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Tax Code by adding Section 151.3211.  This bill would exempt the sale of a book used for educational or instructional purposes that is bought by a student enrolled in an institution of higher education, either public or private, and required for a course at the institution from sales taxes.  Effective date:  July 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 627

Reyna,

Mesquite

Relating to an area quarantine in response to a bioterrorist attack; imposing a criminal penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines bioterrorist attack to mean the reckless or intentional introduction into the environment of any bacterium or other disease-producing organism, toxic substance, radioactive substance, or other hazardous substance capable of causing widespread human illness, death, or negative economic impact.  This bill establishes a criminal penalty for an individual who violates an area quarantine established by the commissioner of health, the Texas Board of Health, or a health authority.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 629

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to state agency auditing of software licenses for software installed at the agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law requires each state agency to perform a biennial audit of software licenses for software installed in the agency’s desktop and portable computers.  These amendments would only require an audit at least once every four years.  See SB 349, Armbrister.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 634

 

SB 447

Campbell,

San Angelo

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to the creation of a savings incentive program for state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require a state agency that spends less undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources than is appropriated to the agency for a fiscal year to send notice to the comptroller before October 30th of the savings realized.  The comptroller shall verify the amount.  The affected agency would be allowed to retain one-half of the amount of the savings, not to exceed one percent of the amount of undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources appropriated to the agency for the fiscal year.  e-Texas GG-17.  Same as HB 651, Pitts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 649

 

SB 1753

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to creating an interagency work group on rural issues.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add additional members to the interagency work group on rural issues.  The commissioner of higher education is currently a member of this working group.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 651

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the creation of a savings incentive program for state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require a state agency that spends less undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources than is appropriated to the agency for a fiscal year to send notice to the comptroller before October 30th of the savings realized.  The comptroller shall verify the amount.  The affected agency would be allowed to retain one-half of the amount of the savings, not to exceed one percent of the amount of undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources appropriated to the agency for the fiscal year.  e-Texas GG-17.  Same as HB 634, Campbell.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 652

 

SB 337

Rangel,

Kingsville

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to requiring the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to publish certain performance data provided to the board by general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0902.  This bill would require the general academic teaching institutions to provide information to the Coordinating Board in order for the Coordinating Board to prepare a report to be published and posted on the board’s Internet site.  The information would include information regarding the qualifications of the entering freshman class for the previous academic year and information regarding the institution’s efficiencies and student performance.  Each institution would be required to provide a link on the institution’s Internet home page to the board’s site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 656

 

SB 1090

Geren,

River Oaks

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to inspection, installation, repair, and maintenance of elevators, escalators, chair lifts, people movers, moving sidewalks, platform lifts, and related equipment; providing an administrative penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends numerous statutes relating to the inspection, certification, registration, and licensing of the mechanical devices listed in the caption.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 677

 

SB 261

Dunnam,

Waco

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the Sunset Commission’s recommendations for the council and would continue its existence through September 1, 2015.  As opposed to the current permissive procedures, the council would be required to establish a formal certification procedure for recognition and approval of community rehabilitation programs.  The amendments give the state auditor the right to audit a state agency for compliance with the laws regarding the council and report to the council a state agency that is not complying.  The council would then be required to assist the agency to get in compliance.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 682

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to permitting certain military dependents to qualify for automatic admission to general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.803, by adding Subsection (a-1).  A spouse or a dependent child of a member of the armed forces would be entitled to automatic admission to a public institution of higher education if the student previously resided in Texas for a twelve-month period and the student graduated in the top ten percent of the student’s graduating class and is a Texas resident for purposes of tuition and fees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 684

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Relating to continuation and functions of the State Board for Educators Certification.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding the State Board for Educator Certification.  The bill would continue the board for another twelve years.  Currently, the Governor appoints all twelve members of the board and these amendments would allow the State Board of Education to appoint two members from among the membership of the State Board to be members of this board; thereby reducing the Governor’s appointments to ten.    The major amendments would allow the State Board for Educator Certification to adopt rules as opposed to proposing rules for approval by the State Board of Education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 704

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to attorney’s fees in the subrogation of a state employee’s workers’ compensation claim.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law allows an attorney representing a claimant to recover a fee in a third-party action from an insurance carrier if the carrier’s interest is not actively represented in the cause of action.  The fee may be an agreed amount or an amount set forth in the statute.  These amendments would eliminate the attorney’s rights to recover a fee from the insurance carrier.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 707

 

SB 170

Rangel,

Kingsville

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to a uniform strategy to ensure that public institutions of higher education employ faculty and staff who reflect the population of Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0865.  This new section requires the Coordinating Board to develop and annually update a uniform strategy to enable institutions of higher education to identify, attract, hire, and retain faculty and staff who reflect the population of this state.  Each institution would be required to implement the uniform strategy and to annually report to the Coordinating Board the manner in which the institution had implemented the uniform strategy.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 709

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to medical malpractice claims by structuring payments for future losses, allowing consideration of collateral source benefits of the claimant, placing various limitations on the amount of damages a claimant may recover, placing limitations on contingency fees for attorneys, and establishing new qualifications for expert witnesses in suits against health care providers.  See HB 3, Nixon; SB 158, Nelson; HB 579, Eiland; SB 1598, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 719

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to a voting student member on the board of regents of The University of Texas System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 65.11 and 65.12 and adds Section 65.111.  This bill would require the Governor to appoint a student regent to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.  Each general academic teaching institution and health institution in the UT System will be required to solicit applicants for the position of student regent and each application will have the name of the applicant and of the general academic teaching institution or health institution removed prior to consideration by the University of Texas System Student Advisory Council.  The council shall select five applicants that will be forwarded to the chancellor of the system for consideration for recommendation to the Governor.  The Governor may request to review all applicants for the position of student regent.  The Governor is not required to appoint the applicant recommended by the chancellor.  The chancellor shall select two or more applicants as the system’s recommendations for the position.

 

The student regent must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a general academic teaching institution or a health institution in the system at the time of the appointment.  The student regent shall have the same powers and duties, including voting privileges, as other board members.  The student regent shall serve a term of three years.  See HB 2123, Wilson and SB 111, Barrientos.  Effective date:  October 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 736

Denny,

Denton

Relating to use of the internal mail system of a governmental agency to deliver political advertising.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a new criminal offense for use of the internal mail system of a state agency for the distribution of political advertising.  This would not apply to distribution of mail received through the United States Postal Service.  The offense would be a Class A misdemeanor.  State agency is defined to include a university system or an institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 739

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the protection and use of intellectual property by the Department of Information Resources.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow the Department of Information Resources to establish an intellectual property policy and to contract with persons or entities to distribute the department’s intellectual property.  Money paid to the department would be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.  See SB 349, Armbrister.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 741

Branch,

Dallas

Relating to the powers of certain nonprofit corporations to finance facilities for an institution of higher education under the Higher Education Authority Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 53.35(b).  This bill would expand the types of facilities that may be financed by a Higher Education Authority.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 757

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to the continuation of the higher education assistance pilot program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0901.  This bill would remove the “pilot” status of the program established this biennium by the Coordinating Board to assist prospective student in completing applications for enrollment and financial aid application.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 760

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to requiring uniform admissions standards for undergraduate student admissions to an institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.805(c).  Current law allows general academic teaching institutions to consider other factors in making admissions decisions.  This amendment would require the institution to consider the same factors and apply the same standards, criteria, and formulas, including minimum standards for high school grade point averages or test scores, to all applicants for admission to the institution as entering freshman in ranking those applicants or determining which applicants are to be offered admission.  This would apply to admissions for the fall 2004.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 783

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to public participation in certain condemnation proceedings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Property Code by adding Section 21.0112.  This bill would require the governing body of an institution of higher education with eminent domain authority that seeks to acquire more than one unit of residential real property by condemnation to hold a public hearing on the proposed acquisition at which public testimony regarding the proposed acquisition is allowed.  Thirty days prior to the hearing, the governing body shall provide notice by registered or certified mail to the state senator and the state representative who represent each district in which all or part of the property is located, the mayor and each city council member, the owner of record of each unit of residential real property, and public notice in one or more newspapers of general circulation in which all or part of the property is located.  The requirements for the notice are set forth in the bill.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 796

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to abolishing the Texas Academic Skills Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 29.903(d), 39.023(c), 39.051(b), 39.051(d), and 130.0035(b).  Repeals Sections 51.306, 51.3061, and 51.930(e).  This bill repeals the statutes relating to the TASP.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 804

Geren,

River Oaks

Relating to the minimum wage.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the special provisions for special wages for individuals whose earning or productivity capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury; or a person over sixty-five years of age.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 810

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination by state agencies on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a state agency, including an institution of higher education, from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of the person.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 826

Davis, Y.

Dallas

Relating to the disposition of certain unclaimed wage payments.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the procedures relating to disposition of unclaimed wages or wage payments made by check based upon the amount of the check (whether it is for $100 or less or whether it is for greater than $100).  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 838

Smith, T.

Bedford

Relating to student preparedness for higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 7.060; 21.455; and 21.456-21.457; amends Sections 28.026, 51.803, 51.804, 51.805, and 51.807.  In order to be entitled to automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution, beginning with admissions for the 2008-2009 academic year, a student would be required to have completed the recommended or advanced high school program and in one of the two school years preceding the academic year for which the applicant is applying for admission, the student must have graduated with a grade point average in the top fifteen percent of those in the student’s high school graduating class.  The top ten percent rule would apply until the 2008-2009 academic year.  A general academic teaching institution would be prohibited from admitting a student beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year who had not completed the recommended or advanced high school curriculum or had not completed at least twenty-four semester credit hours in the core curriculum.

 

The bill would also establish grants to perform research on high school students in mathematics and sciences that would be awarded by the commissioner of education to develop and identify learning in mathematics, effectiveness of professional development, identification of common practices used at high-performing school campuses, and develop research on cognitive development in students concerning mathematics and science skills.  The bill also requires the commissioner of education to develop training materials and other teaching resources for public school teachers to assist high school mathematics and science teachers.  The commissioner would also be required to develop and make available professional development institutes for teachers who provide instruction in mathematics and science.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 845

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to a purchasing preference for Texas vendors.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish a preference for Texas vendors for those state agencies who are subject to the Texas Building and Procurement Commission rules for purchasing.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 851

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to certain requirements for construction contracts with governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law requires that each contractor who enters into a construction contract with a governmental entity must provide workers’ compensation insurance for each employee of the contractor employed on the public project.  This bill would give a contractor the option of providing personal injury or death benefits in the amount of $300,000 for medical expenses for at least 104 weeks after the date of the injury; $100,000 in accidental death benefits for a fatal injury; and weekly income benefits of at least seventy-five percent of the employee’s pre-injury income for at least 104 weeks after the date of the injury, not to exceed $600.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 862

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to a prohibition of discrimination by public educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 1.0021.  This bill defines sexual preference to mean a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.  A public educational institution or employee of a public educational institution would be prohibited from discriminating against a student enrolled in the institution on account of the ethnicity, color, gender, gender identify, sexual preference, disability, religion, or national origin of the student or the student’s parent.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 882

 

SB 334

Christian,

Center

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to student center fees at Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.520.  This bill would authorize an increase in the student center fees from $15 per student per semester to an amount not to exceed $100.  It expands the purposes for which the fees may be used to include acquiring, constructing, or renovating the center.  The bill does add the limitation of any increases greater than ten percent will require a vote of the students participating in a general student election called for that purpose.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 898

 

SB 1365

Hamilton,

Mauriceville

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the use of state travel services by public junior colleges and school districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow an officer or employee of a public junior college or a school district who is engaged in official business to participate in the Texas Building and Procurement Commission’s contracts for travel services.  The bill would restrict reimbursements to only the contract rates negotiated by the commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 906

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to the human resources staff and functions of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 670.  This bill defines a state agency and specifically excludes a university system or institution of higher education.  The bill requires state agencies to adjust their human resources staff depending on the number of full-time equivalent employees that work for an agency.  e-Texas GG 11.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 908

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to prohibiting certain foreign corporations from participating in state contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Government Code, Chapter 2155, which currently does not apply to institutions of higher education.  The amendments would prohibit a foreign corporation, as defined by this bill, from participating in state contracts, including delegated purchases.  See SB 311, Shapleigh.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 909

 

SB 265

Gallego,

Alpine

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to continuation and functions of the Board of Educator Certification.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill represents the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding SBEC.  This bill would allow the State Board of Education to continue to review and accept; or reject the proposed rules for SBEC.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 915

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to the establishment of a minimum wage for public employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 619.  This bill would establish the minimum wage for public employees including employees of the state.  The minimum wage will be determined by a calculation prescribed in the bill or the federal minimum hourly wage.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 918

Eiland,

Galveston

Relating to the authority of certain counties to implement a pilot program to provide certain indigent health care services and to the funding of the program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would apply to a county with a population of more than 200,000, in which a hospital district is not located, and in which a public medical school or health science center is located.  The bill would allow the commissioners court of the county to implement a pilot program in the county to provide certain indigent health care services.  Funding for the pilot program would be either by a state appropriation of at least $6 million or the imposition of a dedicated local sales use tax.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 930

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to rates and expenditures under the Medicaid program and the state child health plan program in certain strategic investment areas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Health and Human Services Commission to ensure that rates and expenditures under the Medicaid program and the CHIP program that are made in strategic investment areas are at least equal to the respective statewide average rates for those programs and services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 933

 

HB 2507

Dutton,

Houston

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the eligibility of a high school graduate for automatic admission to an institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.803 and 51.807.  This bill would amend the automatic admission status for the top ten percent of an applicant’s high school graduating class to also require that the applicant complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum or an equivalent at a high school other than a public high school.  The bill also requires the Coordinating Board to consult with Texas Education Agency to establish whether a private school is accredited by a generally accepted accrediting organization and whether a person completed a high school curriculum that is the equivalent to the recommended or advanced high school curriculum.  This bill would apply to admissions beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year.  See SB 86, Wentworth.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 944

King,

Weatherford

Relating to the admission to public institutions of higher education of students with nontraditional secondary educations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9241.  Nontraditional secondary education is defined as a course of study at the secondary school level in a non-accredited private school setting, including a home school.  This bill would require an institution of higher education to treat an applicant for admission to the institution as an undergraduate if the student presents evidence that the person has successfully completed a nontraditional secondary education.  The institution would be prohibited from requiring the applicant to obtain or submit evidence that the person has obtained a general education development certificate, certificate of high school equivalency, or other credentials equivalent to a public high school degree, or take an examination or comply with any other requirement not generally applicable to other applicants for undergraduate admission.  Effective date:  September 1,2003.

 

 

 

HB 950

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to an optional defined contribution retirement plan for persons eligible to participate in then Teacher Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the TRS to establish and administer an optional defined contribution plan that is a qualified plan and under which a person eligible for membership in TRS may elect to pay contributions to the optional defined contribution plan for the purchase of investment products selected by the person from among products that are authorized to be provided under the plan and offered by companies authorized and selected by the board of trustees.  This plan would be available only to TRS members.  A person eligible to participate would be required to elect within the 90th day after the person begins employment and an election is irrevocable.  The employee’s contributions would vest immediately.  The state’s contribution would vest in the participant at a rate of twenty percent per year for five years.  Contributions to the plan would be equal to the rate currently available to individuals participating in the defined benefit plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 951

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to an optional defined contribution retirement plan for persons eligible to participate in the Employees Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the ERS to establish and administer an optional defined contribution plan that is a qualified plan and under which a person eligible for membership in ERS may elect to pay contributions to the optional defined contribution plan for the purchase of investment products selected by the person from among products that are authorized to be provided under the plan and offered by companies authorized and selected by the board of trustees.  This plan would be available only to ERS members.  A person eligible to participate would be required to elect within the 90th day after the person begins employment and an election is irrevocable.  The employee’s contributions would vest immediately.  The state’s contribution would vest in the participant at a rate of twenty percent per year for five years.  Contributions to the plan would be equal to the rate currently available to individuals participating in the defined benefit plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 954

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to providing a tax-exempt benefit plan to cover educational expenses to employees of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines eligible higher education expenses to include tuition and fees, and costs for books, supplies, and equipment required for a course of instruction at an institution.  Each state agency would be required to provide to its employees as an optional benefit the right to participate in a plan to allow the exclusion from the gross income for federal income tax purposes of a state agency employee the amounts paid through the plan to cover eligible higher education expenses of the employee. To the extent permitted under federal law, the plan must permit a participating employee to include eligible higher education expenses of an immediate family member.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 959

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to the benefits provided to the survivors of certain public employees killed in the line of duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

The current requirement for benefits to be provided to survivors of public employees killed in the line of duty requires proof that the death was a result of exposure to a risk that is inherent in the line of duty or to which the general public is not customarily exposed.  This bill’s new language would only require that the death was as a result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.  The bill does provide a definition for line of duty and occupational death.  See SB 728, Staples.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 961

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to the liability of a governmental unit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Sections 101.021 and 101.057.  Currently, the Tort Claims Act holds a governmental unit liable for damages for all employees in specific situations.  These amendments alter the agency’s liability and would hold the governmental unit liable for employee’s negligent acts if a similar employee privately employed would be personally liable to the claimant.  The bill also provides for an exception to the current exception for the Tort Claims Act for damages resulting from civil disobedience and intentional torts.  It would allow the Tort Claims Act to apply to a negligence or premises defect cause of action if property damage, personal injury, or death is caused by an intentional tort and a negligent act or omission, or a premises or special defect.  Effect date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 971

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to the liability of a physician or health care provider to an individual receiving benefits under Medicaid.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

A physician or health care provider would only be liable for damages to a Medicaid recipient if, in addition to any other showing required by law, the plaintiff proves that the physician or health care provider acted with criminal negligence or a degree of mental culpability greater than criminal negligence.  This would apply in a case where the health care provider is or would be reimbursed partly or wholly by Medicaid.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 978

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to certain life insurance policies insuring the life of an officer, stockholder, partner, or employee.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill prohibits an individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other legal entity who is the employer of an individual who is insured under a life insurance policy from being designated as a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of the policy.  This prohibition does not apply when the employer is a corporation, joint stock association, trust estate, or a partnership.  This prohibition does not apply when the employer is a corporation joint stock association trust estate or a partnership; or an individual who is related by blood or marriage to the individual who is insured under the policy.  See SB 137, Ellis, R. and HB 152, Wilson.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 990

Puente,

San Antonio

Relating to an exemption from the sales and use tax for certain books sold at a school book sale.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would exempt the sale of books at a book sale sponsored by a public or private school or an institution of higher education from sales tax.  This exemption would not apply to the sale of a book that is designed for educational or instructional purposes and required for a course at the institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 995

Mercer,

San Antonio

Relating to the protection of public employees who report a waste of funds from retaliation by a state or local governmental entity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law protects a public employee who reports a violation of law by the employing governmental entity or another public employee.  This bill would expand that protection to an employee who reports a waste of funds by the employing governmental entity or another public employee to an appropriate governmental official or entity.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1015

Miller,

Stephenville

Relating to prohibiting a governmental body from disclosing a person’s social security number to a member of the public without the person’s written consent.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would protect the social security number of a member of public that is in the possession of a governmental body from disclosure unless the individual has signed a written consent form authorizing the disclosure.  This protection would extend to employees of governmental entities.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1016

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to health care for certain Texans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill provides a preference for vendors that provide health benefits coverage for employees.  A state agency would be required to give a preference in the purchase of goods or services from a vendor that demonstrates that the vendor provides health benefits coverage to the vendor’s employees.  Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from this chapter of the law.

 

The bill also establishes the border health foundation.  The foundation would be governed by a board of five directors appointed by the Texas Board of Health.  The foundation would be required to raise money from other foundations, governmental entities, and other sources to finance health programs in this state in areas adjacent to the border with the United Mexican States.  The bill would authorize an institution of higher education to contract with the foundation to finance these health care programs.

 

Amends Education Code, by adding Sections 61.551—61.554; Section 61.0902—61.0903 and Sections 29.187—29.188.  This bill would establish a Border Health Corps.  Practitioners in medicine, dentistry, and nursing would be eligible to participate in a loan repayment assistance program funded by appropriations and gifts and grants.  The practitioner would be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in loan repayment assistance.  The program would be administered by the Coordinating Board.

 

The bill also requires the Coordinating Board to examine undergraduate programs that require more than four years of undergraduate coursework to prepare students for graduate medical education to determine whether such programs are feasible and effective.  If the board makes such a determination, the board will work with institutions to successfully implement and conduct these programs.  It requires the Coordinating Board to develop a strategy to coordinate recruitment and retention of students from ethnic or racial backgrounds that are underrepresented in institutions of higher education in this state.

 

The bill also requires the Texas Education Agency to periodically assess the adequacy of existing health science technology and college preparatory courses and programs in secondary schools in the Texas-Mexico border region.  TEA would be required to establish a statewide network of summer study science instruction programs for students from racial groups that are underrepresented in the fields of science in medicine.  See SB 342, Shapleigh.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1018

Villarreal,

San Antonio

Relating to a purchasing preference for vendors that provide employee dependent care benefits.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 2155.  Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from this chapter of the Government Code.  This bill would require state agencies to give a preference to goods or services of a vendor that receives a family friendly designation from the Texas Workforce Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1026

Hupp,

Lampasas

Relating to regulating the use of social security numbers by institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.981.  This bill would prohibit a public or private institution of higher education from using a student’s social security number, or any number that includes consecutively four or more consecutive digits of the student’s social security number as the student’s primary student identification number.  The Coordinating Board is directed to adopt rules for the administration of this section.  An institution would be required to be in compliance not later than September 1, 2005.  Students at private or independent institutions would not be eligible for tuition equalization grants if the institution has not substantially complied.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1053

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to the confidentiality of social security numbers in certain circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill applies to entities in or created by the judicial branch of state government.  The bill prohibits the public display, transmission, or printing of an individual’s social security number unless required by state or federal law.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1055

 

SB 545

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to an intercollegiate athletics fee at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 54.5391.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to impose an intercollegiate athletics fee on each student enrolled at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.  The fee could not exceed $8 per semester credit hour for each semester or summer session unless the amount is approved by a majority vote of the students participating in a general student election or, if the amount of the increase does not exceed five percent, by a majority of the legislative body of the student government of the university.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1057

Alonzo,

Dallas

Relating to providing for a student who qualifies for automatic admission to an institution of higher education to maintain that status for transferring between institutions in certain circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.8035.  This bill would require a general academic teaching institution to admit an applicant for admission as a transfer undergraduate student if the student graduated from a high school not earlier than four years before the application for admission and qualified for automatic admission under the top ten percent rule, and completed core curriculum at another institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1058

Alonzo,

Dallas

Relating to Mexican-American studies programs and course work at certain public junior colleges.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0102.  This bill would require the governing board of a public junior college district located in one or more counties with a substantial and growing Mexican-American population to evaluate the demand for and feasibility of establishing a Mexican-American studies program or other coursework in Mexican-American studies.  If approved by the Coordinating Board, the governing board would be directed to establish the program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1075

McCall,

Plano

Relating to criminal history record information for state agency information technology personnel.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 411.1405.  This bill would apply to all state agencies, including a university system or institution of higher education.  Prior to obtaining criminal history information, each state agency would be required to adopt policies and procedures that provide that evidence of a criminal conviction or other relevant information obtained from the criminal history information does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment.  The AG would be required to review the policies and would be allowed to charge for the review. The elements of the policies and procedures are set forth in the proposed bill.  The bill would allow a state agency to obtain from the Department of Public Safety or other law enforcement agencies of the state the criminal history information maintained by the department that relates to a person who is an employee, application for employment, contractor, subcontractor, or intern or other volunteer with the state agency or with a contractor or subcontractor for the agency, and has access to information resources or information resources technologies, other than a desktop computer or telephone station assigned to the person.  The state agency would be prohibited from releasing or disclosing the information except in certain situations.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1083

 

SB 84

Baxter,

Austin

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the prompt production of public information under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would define “promptly” to mean as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1096

 

SB 330

Capelo,

Corpus Christi

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to access to certain private medical information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill repeals Health and Safety Code, Sections 181.101 and 181.102.  These two sections deal with compliance with federal regulations and information regarding health research.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1106

 

SB 641

Turner,

Houston

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to presumptions for state land records.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill allows that in a dispute involving littoral boundaries of state-owned land, the documents, including maps and surveys, placed of record in the archives of the General Land Office are presumed to accurately depict the boundaries described in those documents.  The presumption applies only to those surveys conducted by a licensed state land surveyor or county surveyor.  The presumption may be overcome only by a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the boundary is erroneous.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1109

 

SB 996

King,

Weatherford

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to collateral eligible to be pledged with the comptroller to secure state deposits.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add letters of credit to the permissible list of collateral eligible to be pledged by the comptroller to secure state deposits.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1111

 

SB 599

Corte,

San Antonio

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to investigation and testing, technical assistance, and certain other matters related to indoor air quality in state buildings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a state building to include any building owned or occupied by the state, including buildings or offices leased to the state for state purposes.  The bill transfers the authority of the Building and Procurement Commission to investigate and test indoor air quality in state buildings to the Texas Department of Health.  The bill does allow the commission to contract with a private entity to conduct any air monitoring that is related to asbestos abatement services provided by the commission.

 

The bill also requires the State Office of Risk Management to conduct an annual, one-day educational seminar on indoor air quality.  The bill requires state agency risk managers, representatives of entities with charge and control of state buildings, facility managers, and owners and managers of buildings or offices leased to the state to attend the seminar on an annual basis.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1130

 

SB 558

Hardcastle,

Vernon

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to immigration visa waivers for physicians.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow the Department of Health, on receipt of an application from a foreign applicant for the expedited processing of a license, and in accordance with federal law, to request a waiver of the foreign country residence requirement for a qualified alien physician who agrees to practice medicine in a medically underserved area or health professional shortage area as designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, that has a current shortage of physicians.

 

The bill also directs the State Board of Medical Examiners to adopt rules to expedite the application by a person who is licensed to practice medicine in another state or country and who submits an affidavit with the application stating that the applicant intends to practice in a rural community as determined by the Office of Rural and Community Affairs, or the applicant intends to practice in a medically underserved area or health professional shortage area.  The bill strikes the requirements regarding the applicant’s affiliation with a public university-sponsored graduate medical education program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1136

Villarreal,

San Antonio

Relating to the prohibition of certain discrimination based on sexual orientation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes a prohibition for an employer or an entity or individual from discriminating against another individual because of the sexual orientation of the individual in employment, use of public accommodations, or housing. The Commission of Human Rights would have administrative enforcement of this new Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1155

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to travel services affecting public junior colleges and school districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2171.055(b) and adds Subsection (f).  The intent of this bill is to authorize public junior colleges and school districts to utilize the state travel services provided by the Building and Procurement Commission.  The bill, in fact, strikes some very carefully drafted language that kept institutions of higher education from being required from participating in the commission’s contracts for travel services if the travel was purchased from funds other than general revenue or educational and general funds.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1171

Madden,

Plano

Relating to the notice required to be given to a governmental entity to recover in a suit on a payment bond.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This amendment would apply when a governmental entity fails to obtain from the prime contractor a payment bond.  The governmental entity is subject to the same liability that a surety would be liable if a payment bond had been procured and the only notice that would be required is written notice mailed on or before the fifteenth day of the third month after each month in which any of the claimed labor was performed or any of the claimed material was delivered.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1179

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to use of certain public funds to influence legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 305.026.  This bill would prohibit a political subdivision which is defined as a municipality, a county, a special district, a school district, a junior college district, a water district, a hospital district, a municipal utility district, or a metropolitan transit authority from using money available from taxes imposed by the political subdivision to compensate or reimburse the expenses of any person for the purpose of communicating directly with a member of the legislative branch to influence legislation.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1184

Dunnam,

Waco

Relating to expert reports filed in health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This amendment would require a challenge to the adequacy of an expert report to be filed not later than the 90th day after the date the report is filed.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1191

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to the confidentiality of, and the application of the public information law to, certain sensitive information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 418.176—418.180 and 552.140.  This bill establishes statutory confidentiality of certain information relating to emergency response providers, risk or vulnerability assessments, construction or assembly of weapons, and certain encryption codes and security keys for communications systems.  At any time during a state of disaster, the executive or administrative head of a governmental entity would be allowed to voluntarily disclose or otherwise make available all or part of the confidential information to another person if the head of the agency believes that the other person or entity has a legitimate need for the information.  Such a disclosure does not waive or affect the confidentiality of the information.

 

The bill does create a new exception to the Public Information Act for information that relates to the details of a security system that is used to protect public or private property, including an access code to the property.  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1206

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to the establishment of a Higher Education Is In Your Future week in certain public schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 29.908.  This bill would require each middle, junior, or high school and each open-enrollment charter school to designate one week during the school year as Higher Education Is In Your Future Week.  During the week designated, the school shall promote the importance of higher education including the available higher education options, the requirements for admission, the requirements relating to the high school curriculum, high school grades, performance on required admissions test, availability of financial aid and requirements for obtaining that aid.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1209

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to a program to promote participation by public junior college students in individual development account programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0816.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to establish and administer a program to provide student financial aid offices at public junior colleges with information and other assistance to enable their offices to provide appropriate students of those colleges with information and referrals regarding the availability of and services offered by individual development account programs.  The board will be required to evaluate the program to determine the effectiveness of the program at increasing student awareness and participation in individual development account programs.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1210

 

SB 964

Naishtat,

Austin

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to marching grants for low to moderate income families participating in the higher education savings or prepaid tuition program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.7085.  This bill would allow the Coordinating Board to match all or part of the contributions to a savings trust account or all or part of the payments under a prepaid tuition contract from money available for that purpose for a beneficiary who resides in Texas and has a family income not greater than the income level established by the board, which may not exceed the statewide medium family income, adjusted for family size, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The board may solicit gifts, grants, or appropriations to fund this program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1211

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to financial assistance for certain intercollegiate athletes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.451—56.456.  This bill would allow the governing board of an institution of higher education to establish a Texas Intercollegiate Athlete Grant Program to provide grants to students who are enrolled at the institution and are recipients of athletic scholarships awarded by the institution.  The grant could not exceed $200 per month.  The governing board would be required to set aside not less than five percent nor more than ten percent of the institution’s total receipts from athletic activities.  The grant to a student may not be considered in determining whether a student is entitled to other athletic scholarship aid, including aid for tuition, fees, room, board, or books.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1212

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to the limitations on the number of foreign students who may be enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program at a public institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 51.9091.  This bill would prohibit the number of students enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program offered by an institution of higher education who are not citizens of the United States and who are present in the United States under a visa or other federal immigration status that does not permit the student to establish permanent residence in the U.S. from exceeding the greater of ten percent of the total number of students enrolled in the degree program or one student, if the total number of students enrolled in the degree program is less than ten.  If an institution cannot get a degree program in compliance by the 2003 fall semester, the institution must ensure that the portion of students initially enrolled in the degree program in each academic year who are foreign students do not exceed ten percent until the degree program complies with this prohibition.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1233

 

SB 275

Solomons,

Carrollton

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the abolition of the Department of Economic Development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding the Texas Department of Economic Development.  The bill would eliminate the department and transfer its functions to the Governor’s office.  See SB 659, Brimer and HB 3472, Keffer, J.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1244

Thompson,

Houston

Relating to a prohibition on employment discrimination in compensation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employer to include a person who employs fifty or more employees including the state and a political subdivision of the state.  This bill would create an unlawful employment practice if an employer discriminates among employees on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age by paying wages to an employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not a member of a protected class for work in an equivalent job.  It would not be an unlawful practice for an employer to pay different wages to employees if the difference is based on a bona fide seniority or merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a bona fide factor other than the ones listed.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1257

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to laws regulating the carrying of weapons and the places where weapons are prohibited and to the organization of those laws in that state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends several sections of the Penal Code, Chapter 46, relating to laws regulating the carrying of weapons.  The bill is an attempt to cleanup sections regarding prohibited places for an individual to have a weapon.  The bill has a new section related to license holders of concealed weapons but continues to prohibit a license holder from carrying a concealed weapon whether or not the handgun is concealed on the premises of an educational institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1272

Kolkhorst,

Brenham

Relating to a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives emergency medical services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would provide for a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives emergency medical services for injuries within seventy-two hours of the accident that caused the injuries for emergency medical services provided by a hospital or an emergency medical services provider.  A hospital lien would have priority over any emergency medical services lien for a provider.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1273

Geren,

River Oaks

Relating to the sale of prison articles and products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would expand the authority of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to contract with a nonprofit organization or a private primary or secondary school or a private or independent institution of higher education to manufacture for or sell to that entity prison-made articles or products.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1281

 

SB 561

Gallego,

Alpine

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to indemnification by the state of physicians providing certain health care services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 104.001.  This bill would provide for indemnification for physicians licensed to practice in this state providing health care services to a patient as a part of a medical assistance program or the state child health plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1293

 

SB 394

Hochberg,

Houston

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would expand the membership of the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council to include three auxiliary voting members including a faculty member of a public senior college or university who has demonstrated knowledge or records and information management.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1297

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to limits on indemnification of state employees and officials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 104.003.  This bill adds a definition for “occurrence” to mean a distinct event or the continuous or repeated exposure to the same conditions.  This bill amends the section on limits of liability for indemnification to now read $100,000 to each person and $300,000 for each single occurrence for personal injury or death.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1302

Geren,

River Oaks

Relating to the application of the open meetings law and the public information law to deliberations and information regarding the safety, security and integrity of public water and sewer supplies

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 551.0761 and 552.147.  This bill creates a new exception to the open meetings law when a governmental body conducts a meeting to deliberate any matters concerning any response to, or protection from, potential or actual threats of terrorism or vandalism to the safety, security, or integrity of a public water or sewer supply system.  The bill also creates an exemption from the Public Information Act for information relating to the safety, security, or integrity of public water supplies and public water and sewer systems.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1306

 

SB 1713

Marchant,

Carrollton

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the confidentiality of certain information relating to real property purchased or sold by certain state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Section 11.084.  Current law protects information relating to the sale of real property by the School Land Board, Veterans’ Land Board, land office, or Land Commissioner until a formal award of a contract for the purchase or sale of the property is executed.  This bill would extend the period of confidentiality until a deed has been executed.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1308

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to a return on investment program for certain major state information technology projects.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 2055, by adding Subchapter E and amends Section 2055.001(1).  This bill adds to the responsibilities of the program management office at the Department of Information Resources.  Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from the oversight of the program management office.  This bill requires the program management office to implement a return on investment program for major information resources projects that exceed $1 million to quantify, measure, evaluate, and verify technology investment benefits for the government and residents of the state.  The quality assurance team of the LBB shall select the projects for the return on investment program.  e-Texas GG 19.  See HB 3004, Swinford.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1318

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to workforce planning requirements for state agencies and the compensation, accountability, and employment of certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2056.0021; adds Sections 659.262; 670.001-670.002; 651.004(c-1), 651.004(c-2), 651.004(c-3), and 651.004(c); repeals Section 656.048(b).  This bill would allow agencies subject to the State Classification Plan to provide one-time recruitment payments not to exceed $5,000 or one-time additional deferred compensation payments not to exceed $5,000 to recruit or retain specific employees.

 

Currently, institutions of higher education are not required to file a strategic plan with the Governor’s Budget and Planning Office and the LBB.  Those agencies that are required to file a strategic plan would be required to file additional information regarding their workforce planning.

 

This bill would require the governing body of agencies in the executive branch of state government, including institutions of higher education to enter into agreements with employees who serve in upper management positions, including the chief executive officer or chief administrator of the agency.  The agreement must communicate to the upper management employee the overall organizational goals and specific strategic aims of the agency, specific performance measures and targets for which the upper management employee is responsible, and explain procedures for which the employee shall be held accountable.

 

Then the bill develops a sliding scale for required targets for management positions to FTEs in non-managerial staff positions.  A state agency with more than one hundred FTEs would be prohibited from employing more than one FTE in a management position for every eight FTEs in a non-managerial staff position on or after August 31, 2004.  After August 31, 2005, the ratio would be required to be one to nine; after August 31, 2006, the ratio would be required to be one to ten; and after September 1, 2006, the ratio must be one to eleven.  e-Texas GG 10.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1319

 

SB 525

Naishtat,

Austin

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the creation of employee wellness programs by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 664.007.  This bill would require each state agency to develop an employee wellness program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1323

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the benefits provided to eligible survivors of certain public servants killed in motor vehicle accidents in the line of duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 615.021(a) and 615.071.  Current law provides benefits for eligible survivors of certain public servants who died in the performance of their duties because of an exposure to risk that is inherent in those duties.  This bill would add the same benefits to survivors of public servants who are killed in motor vehicle accidents in the line of duty.  These benefits do include an exemption from tuition and fees and room and board at an institution of higher education.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1325

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Relating to the rural physician assistant loan reimbursement program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupations Code, Sections 204.104(b) and (c); Government Code, Section 487.052.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board and the Office of Rural Community Affairs to adopt a memorandum of understanding that requires the Coordinating Board to apply for any federal funds for the physician assistant loan reimbursement program, and requires the Coordinating Board to transfer the federal funds to ORCA to administer the program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1363

 

SB 1762

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to funding for the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 105.301(e).  This bill would change the funding for the Texas Academic of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas.  The bill would remove the requirement that the academy have a local share applied that is equivalent to the local fund adjustment for the Denton Independent School District.  The academy would not longer be required to be treated as a school district without a tier one local share.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1375

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the workers’ compensation insurance coverage requirements for certain construction contracts with governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law requires a governmental entity to require the contractor on a building or construction contract to certify in writing that the contractor provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage for each employee employed on the public project.  This bill would amend that section and require only contractors to provide such certification for projects that have a total dollar amount in a fiscal year that exceeds $9,000.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1376

 Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the optional retirement program for certain employees of public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 830.002, 830.004, and 830.006.  The bill would require the Coordinating Board to establish uniform minimum standards comporting with the statute that a company, or in the investments it offers, must meet to be eligible to offer a participant in the optional retirement program as an authorized investment.  Standards established shall apply uniformly to all mutual funds and all fixed annuity investment options.  These standards cannot restrict an institution of higher education from adopting standards.  A governing board of an institution of higher education may establish minimum standards, including minimum participation requirements that a company, or the investments it offers, must meet to be eligible to offer a participant in the optional retirement program as an authorized investment.  The bill would require that the governing board accept applications from companies seeking to obtain approval based on compliance with the applicable standards and deny or approve those applications at least once each year.  Effective date: September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1383

Solis,

Harlingen

Relating to the issuance of a license to practice medicine to certain graduates of a foreign medical school.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law requires graduates of a foreign medical school to complete three years of graduate medical training approved by the State Board of Medical Examiners in the United States or Canada.  This bill would reduce the three year requirement to one year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1417

Christian,

Center

Relating to requiring a state agency to notify a member of the legislature about certain expenditures that will affect the member’s district.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 306.008.  This bill would require state agencies in the executive branch of state government (includes institutions of higher education) to promptly inform a member of the legislature of the agency’s decision to build a road, bridge, or other infrastructure located in the member’s district; build, expand, renovate, or substantially repair a building or other facility in the member’s district; purchase an item of capital equipment that will be permanently or regularly located in the member’s district; or award a grant or contract, other than a statewide grant or contract, under which the entity to which the grant or contract is awarded will implement one of the agency’s programs in the member’s district or in the member’s district and in one or more adjacent districts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1420

Hardcastle,

Vernon

Relating to the use of a portion of medical school tuition for student loan repayment assistance for physicians.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.539.  Current law requires each medical school to set aside two percent of the tuition charges for resident students.  This bill would expand that set aside to add two percent of the tuition charges for each medical student.

 

The bill would also require the comptroller to prepare a report for the fiscal year of the number of students registered in each medical school, the total amount of tuition charges collected, the total amount transferred to the treasury for the student loan repayment program for physicians, and the total amount available for repayment of student loans of physicians.  The comptroller is required to deliver the report to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker not later than January 1.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 1442

 

SB 798

Goolsby,

Dallas

Brimer,

Tarrant

Relating to the composition of a surcharge for use of a credit card.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a seller from imposing an unposted surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1449

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to prohibiting discrimination in awarding state scholarships or other financial aid for higher education based on a person’s high school attendance or achievement.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 56.304(a) and adds Section 56.004; repeals Section 56.304(f).  This bill would require an institution of higher education or a state agency that awards scholarships or other financial aid to treat students who graduated from an unaccredited private high school or successfully completed a secondary school program in a home school setting the same as if the person graduated from a public high school.  The bill would also prohibit an institution of higher education or a state agency from awarding a scholarship or other financial aid based on a person’s high school grade point average or other measure of a person’s academic performance before attending an institution, other than the person’s score on the SAT or the ACT, or a separately scored portion of one of those tests. 

 

The bill would expand the eligibility for an initial TEXAS grant, to individuals who graduated from unaccredited private schools, including a home school, and would eliminate the requirement for completion of the recommended or advanced high school curriculum. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1450

West, B.

Odessa

Relating to requiring a business entity that is awarded a state contract to notify the state about investments in businesses involved with obscenity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2155.006.  Currently, institutions of higher education are exempt from this chapter of the Government Code.  The bill would require a business entity that is awarded a state contract to provide goods or services to notify the Building and Procurement Commission, each member of legislature, and the Governor in writing of any financial investment that the entity has in a business involved with the distribution or sale of obscene material or performances.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1451

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the education benefits provided to eligible survivors of certain public servants killed in the line of duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 615.0225(a).  In order to be eligible for education benefits, a surviving child currently must have been claimed as a dependent on the income tax return filed with the IRS by the public servant in the year preceding the year in which the public servant died.  This bill would eliminate the requirement to have been claimed as a dependent on the income tax return.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1488

Martinez Fischer,

San Antonio

Relating to the records and seal of a notary public.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the procedures and the payment of a fee to the county clerk once a notary public vacates that office.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1505

 

SB 674

Moreno, P.

El Paso

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to compensatory time off for certain persons who are employed by the state as peace officers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a peace officer commissioned by a state officer or a state agency listed under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedures, to be entitled to compensatory time off when the officer is required to work on a national or state holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1524

Thompson,

Houston

Relating to the prohibition of certain discrimination in applications for employment and employment interviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit an employer from requiring an applicant for employment to disclose in writing or during an interview the applicant’s sexual orientation.  The bill does provide an exemption for religious organizations and schools operated by a religious organization.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1537

 

SB 1443

Dukes,

Austin

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to a fee for statues of Barbara Jordan and Cesar Chavez and related scholarships at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5135.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas System to charge and collect from students registered at UT Austin a fee of $2 for any semester or summer session until August 31, 2007, to construct a statue of Barbara Jordan and Cesar Chavez.  If additional monies from these fees exist, the bill authorizes the institution to create scholarships in the names of these individuals.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1544

 

SB 1500

Bonnen,

Angleton

Janek,

Harris

Relating to a pilot project to allow select public junior colleges to offer certain baccalaureate degrees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0012.  This bill directs the Coordinating Board to establish a pilot project allowing five public junior colleges which include Brazos Port College, El Centro College of the Dallas County Community College District, Midland College, North Harris Montgomery Community College District, and South Texas Community College to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of authorizing public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs in the fields of applied science and applied technology.  The junior colleges would be prohibited from offering more than five baccalaureate degree programs under the project at any time.  The Coordinating Board would be required to recommend that the public junior college receive substantially the same state support for junior-level and senior-level courses offered under the pilot project as that provided to a general academic teaching institution for substantially similar courses.  The Coordinating Board would be required to prepare a progress report on the pilot project by not later than January 1, 2009.  Community colleges would be prohibited from enrolling new students in the pilot project after the 2011 fall semester unless the legislature continues the program.  See HB 1888, Morrison.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1551

 

HB 2841

Haggerty,

El Paso

Corte,

San Antonio

Relating to the civil liability of certain emergency medical services personnel and providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Sections 101.001, 101.023(d), and 101.062; amends V.T.C.S., Article 4590i, Sections 1.03(3) and adds Section 11.06.  This bill amends the Tort Claims Act by providing an emergency services provider with immunity from civil liability to the same extent that the public agency on behalf of which the emergency services provider acts would be immune under the Tort Claims Act.  The bill defines an emergency services provider to mean a provider licensed under Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, to the extent that the provider is providing 9-1-1 emergency medical services on behalf of a public agency.  The bill would cap the liability for the emergency services provider at $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each single occurrence.  See SB 1203, Lindsay.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1554

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Relating to a virtual charter school administered by a public senior college or university.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a virtual charter school to mean a charter school authorized and operating under the law that uses technology, including the Internet, to deliver a significant portion of the school’s instruction outside of a central campus.  The bill would authorize a public senior college to operate a virtual charter school administered by the college or university to operate from an administrative office in the same county in which the campus of the college or university is located.  The virtual charter school would be required to assess at least once each week during the school year the student’s performance in each subject in the foundation curriculum; ensure that the parent or legal guardian of the student verifies the number of hours of educational activities completed by the student each school year; provide the parent or legal guardian of each student with a computer and printer, physical copies of any instructional materials related to the student’s curriculum; and reimbursement for any fees related to Internet access.  The virtual college would be required to maintain a student-teacher ratio of not less than one teacher for each 60 students in average daily attendance.  The bill sets forth the number of hours of educational activities that each student would be expected to complete.  The virtual charter school would be entitled to receive for each student in average daily attendance funding at a level equal to an open-enrollment charter school.  See SB 933, Shapiro.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1562

Merritt,

Longview

Relating to applications for public information that are frivolous or filed for the purpose of harassment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 552.401—552.412. This bill would apply only to a governmental body of a municipality located in a county with a population of less than 200,000 or a governmental body of a county with a population of 200,000.  This new subchapter would not apply to a bona fide member of the news media acting in that capacity.  The bill establishes a procedure for the public information officer of these governmental bodies to apply to the State Office of Administrative Hearings to make a determination as to whether an application for public information has been filed with the officer for public information is frivolous or was filed for the purpose of harassment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1563

Casteel,

New Braunfels

Relating to charitable contributions by state employees to the General Land Office’s Adopt-A-Map/Adopt-A-Document program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the General Land Office program as an eligible charitable organization entitled to participate in the State Employee Charitable Campaign.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1566

Telford,

DeKalb

Relating to lower-division and upper-division courses at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 87.571(a) and (b); repeals Section 87.571(c).  This bill would remove the designation on Texas A&M University—Texarkana as an upper-level institution.  The institution would be authorized to offer lower-division courses.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1576

 

SB 555

Gallego,

Alpine

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the telecommunications planning and oversight council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add a representative of the Health and Human Services Commission to the telecommunications planning and oversight council.  The bill would also eliminate any liability of a member of the council in a civil action for an act performed in good faith.  The bill adds to the duties of the Department of Information Resources by directing the department to negotiate rates and executive contracts with telecommunications service providers for services.  The department would be allowed to acquire transmission facilities by purchase, lease, or lease-purchase, and to develop, establish, and maintain carrier systems necessary to the operation of the consolidated telecommunications system.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1581

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to the reporting of information relating to the occupation and employer of persons making certain political contributions or contributions to legislative caucuses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require an individual who receives political contribution to report certain information regarding those contributions.  The information would require that for any political contributions that exceeds $250 the individual must report the contributor’s principal occupation or job title and the full name of the contributor’s employer.  Effective date: September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1586

 

SB 647

Baxter,

Austin

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to expecting from required public disclosure under the public information law the assessments of a utility’s vulnerability to intentional of harm.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 552.141.  The bill defines utility infrastructure or procedures to mean infrastructure or procedures involved in the provision of water, wastewater, electric, telecommunications, gas, or cable service, without regard to whether the provider of the service is a governmental or nongovernmental entity or considered to be a utility.  This bill would provide an exception to the Public Information Act for information prepared or assembled by the governmental body for purposes of assessing the vulnerability of utility infrastructure or procedures.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1587

 

SB 653

Baxter,

Austin

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the charges that may be imposed under the public information law for providing a copy of public information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 552.261(a), 552.2615(b), and 552.269.  This bill amends the section for requests for information that are for fifty or fewer pages to now include the charge for each page of paper of record to be photocopied.  A request is not considered withdrawn if the requester sends to the Building and Procurement Commission a complaint alleging that the requestor has been overcharged for being provided with a copy of the public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1591

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to the resolution of certain contract claims against the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2260.104(e), 2260.105(a), and 2260.1055(a); repeals Section 2260.104(f).  If the administrative law judge finds, by preponderance of the evidence, that the claim is valid, the state agency will be responsible for the amount of the claim, including reasonable attorney’s fees.  Previously state agencies had not been held responsible for attorney’s fees.  See SB 986, Wentworth.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1606

Wolens,

Dallas

Relating to ethics of public servants, including the functions and duties of the Texas Ethics Commission; the regulation of political contributions, political advertising, lobbying, and conduct of public servants; and the reporting of political contributions and personal financial information; providing civil and criminal penalties.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends numerous sections of Chapter 571 and Chapter 572 of the Government Code.  In particular, the bill amends the section regarding financial disclosures by state officers to add to the list of information the identification by name and the category of the number of shares of any mutual fund held or acquired.  The amendments also prohibit a state officer from being employed by a business entity that contracts with a governmental entity that receives state funds. The bill also prohibits a state officer from being employed by an entity that is required to register as a lobbyist.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1616

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to state energy conservation office cooperation with federal programs related to research on and development and demonstration of fuel cells.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 447.012.  This bill directs the State Energy Conservation Office to undertake as a partner with the United States Department of Energy and other federal agencies or programs to develop cooperative programs related to research on, development of, and demonstration of fuel cell technology in this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1621

Flores,

Mission

Relating to authorizing a public junior college to waive a portion of the tuition and fees for a student enrolled in a course for joint high school-junior college credit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 130.008(b) and (c).  This bill would authorize a junior college to waive all or part of the tuition and fees for high school students enrolled in a course for which the student may receive joint credit.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1627

 

HB 1720

 

SB 775

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Baxter,

Austin

Averitt,

Waco

Relating to the use of TexasOnline by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require state agencies that use TexasOnline to assist in marketing efforts regarding the use of the project and that each state agency that maintains a generally accessible Internet site and uses TexasOnline shall include a link to the TexasOnline on the front pages of the site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1635

King,

Weatherford

Relating to the uses of the telecommunications infrastructure fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code, Sections 57.042, 57.045(e), 57.046(b), 57.047, and repeals Sections 57.0471 and 57.0475.  This bill would remove from the eligible entities list for recipients of TIF funding ambulatory health care centers, libraries, and public not-for-profit health care facilities.  The bill would also eliminate from the list of permissible expenditures of the TIF funding, expenditures for an information sharing program of a library (TexShare), telemedicine medical services, telehealth services, or telepharmacy services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1647

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to the performance review of peace officers enforcing traffic laws.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would clarify the language regarding the prohibition of a political subdivision or an agency of the state maintaining, formally or informally, a plan to evaluate, promote, compensate, or discipline a peace officer based upon the number or types of traffic citations or stops that the peace officer makes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1649

Mercer,

San Antonio

Relating to student fees charged at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 54.5321 and 54.5322. This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas to impose on each student enrolled at UT—San Antonio a transportation fee not to exceed $50 for each regular semester and not to exceed $25 for each summer session for the sole purpose of financing transportation services for students at the institution.

 

The bill also authorizes the board of regents to impose a mandatory intercollegiate athletics fee on each student enrolled at the institution in an amount not to exceed $7 per semester credit hour for each regular semester.  Neither of these fees could be increased by greater than ten percent unless the amount of the increases are approved by a majority vote of the student’s participating in a general student election held for that purpose.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1650

Mercer,

San Antonio

Relating to student fees charged at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.532(a) and 54.543.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas System to establish a new maximum amount for the student union fee at UT at San Antonio of $150 for each semester or summer session.  The bill also authorizes an increase in the maximum amount for their recreational facility fee in an amount not to exceed $100.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1664

Thompson,

Houston

Relating to credit in the Teacher Retirement System for service performed as a United States Peace Corps volunteer.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize an eligible member of TRS to purchase equivalent membership service credit for service performed as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.  The member would be required to have at least five years of service credit in the retirement system for service in public schools and required to have performed at least two years of service as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.  The bill establishes the contribution that the member would be required to make in order to purchase this service credit.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1684

 

SB 1648

Woolley,

Houston

Janek,

Harris

Relating to notice of a right to file a civil action under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a notice of intent to file a civil action as a notice issued by the commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1694

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to required training in gerontology for certain health care practitioners.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupation Code by adding Chapter 107.  This bill defines health care practitioner to mean an individual who is licensed to provide health care services including a physician, a registered nurse, a psychologist, a licensed professional counselor, and any other license holder who provides therapy or counseling services.  Each state regulatory agency that licenses health care practitioners would be required to ensure that individual license holders complete training in gerontology as a condition for obtaining or renewing a license.  A health care practitioner would be required to complete continuing education regarding this training.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1719

Goodman,

Arlington

Relating to allowing a governmental body to conduct a self-evaluation of the governmental body’s performance in a closed meeting.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 551.074.  This bill would authorize a governing body to conduct a self-evaluation of the governmental body’s performance as a whole in a closed meeting.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1720

 

HB 1627

 

SB 775

Baxter,

Austin

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Averitt,

Waco

Relating to the use of TexasOnline by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require state agencies that use TexasOnline to assist in marketing efforts regarding the use of the project and that each state agency that maintains a generally accessible Internet site and uses TexasOnline shall include a link to the TexasOnline on the front pages of the site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1722

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the use of term “college” by certain educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.313.  This bill would authorize a person or entity using the name college in the official name or title of a private post-secondary educational institution that meets certain qualifications.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1737

Turner,

Houston

Relating to prohibiting credit card solicitations on certain campuses; providing a civil penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.58.  This bill defines institution of higher education to have the meaning assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.  This bill would prohibit a person from soliciting on a campus of an institution of higher education or a public high school an individual to open a credit card account.  An individual who violates this section would be liable to the state for a civil penalty in the amount not to exceed $10,000.  The attorney general or the prosecuting attorney in the county in which the violation occurs may bring suit to recover the civil penalty and to obtain an injunction.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1742

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to issues involving the operations or financial accountability of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 403.011(b) and adds Sections 321.013(j), 322.015, 656.050, 2056.002(f), 2115.001—2115.002.  This bill would require the State Auditor to develop fraud awareness training programs for use by state agencies.

 

The new sections of the bill direct the Legislative Budget Board to develop a system of performance measures to be used by state agencies for purposes of the appropriations process.  The LBB is required to keep the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee informed of the board’s activities.  Each state agency will be required to provide information to the LBB to assist with the development of the performance measures.

 

The bill would require each state agency, including an institution of higher education, to provide fraud awareness training to the employees of the agency within ninety days of the date that the employee begins employment.  All current employees would be required to complete the training in a timely manner.

 

The bill contains a new section regarding risk assessment and financial control systems.  In this section, a state agency is defined as any agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government, including an institution of higher education, except a public junior college, and a health-related institution that is associated with an institution of higher education.  Each executive director of a state agency would be required to furnish to the Governor, Legislative Budget Board, and the State Auditor, a letter that provides assurance that the state agency’s risk assessment and financial control systems not later than September 30th of each year.  The letter would be required to include statements regarding identification and review of risks that affect the agency’s operation and the achievement of its mission, that appropriate action has been taken to manage and reduce the actual and potential effects of risks identified, reviewed the agency’s financial control systems, and to the best of the person’s knowledge after reasonable efforts to obtain accurate information that the financial control systems protect the state’s resources and that the financial information fairly represents the financial condition and results of the agency’s operations.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1746

Hunter,

Abilene

Relating to an exemption from tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education for certain adopted students.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.2111.  This bill would exempt a student from the payment of tuition and fees if the student was adopted and the subject of an adoption assistance agreement under Family Code, Chapter 162, Subchapter D.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1753

Rangel,

Kingsville

Relating to academic skills assessment of and development education for undergraduate students entering public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.306; adds Section 132.0631 and repeals Section 51.306(t). This bill would replace the Texas Academic Skills Program with a requirement that each institution of higher education adopt a plan for the assessment and placement of undergraduate students entering the institution. The plan would be required to be approved by the Coordinating Board.  The plan must include the test instruments and performance levels required for the assessment and placement of students in developmental education program or into courses included in the core curriculum; the circumstances under which a student who does not pass all areas of the assessment would be allowed to enroll in the core curriculum; the requirements for completion of the required developmental education program; and a performance measure to measure the effectiveness of the student’s completed developmental education program.  Each undergraduate student who enters a public institution would be required to be tested for reading, writing, and mathematics skills prior to enrolling in a course included in the institution’s core curriculum.  The institution would be required to refer a student to developmental education programs made available by the institution.  Developmental education courses continue to not count toward the degree program.

 

A student would be allowed to enroll in upper division courses if the student has satisfied the requirement of the institution’s plan for developmental education or the student has completed the core curriculum with a grade point average of 2.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale.  The state would continue to fund eighteen semester hours of developmental education at general academic teaching institutions and twenty-seven semester hours at public junior colleges.  The section continues to provide exemption for students who perform at or above a level established by the Coordinating Board on the exit-level assessment in public high schools or on the standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.  A transfer student from an accredited private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution would be exempt if the student completed at the accredited institution a curriculum that is equivalent or similar to the core curriculum with a grade point average of 2.25 or higher.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1761

Wise,

Weslaco

Relating to administration of and eligibility for TEXAS grants and TEXAS grants II.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.305(e), 56.307(h) and (j), 56.355(d), and 56.357(e) and (g).  This bill amends the section regarding satisfactory academic progress requirements.  Currently, a student must complete at least seventy-five percent of the semester credit hours attempted and earned an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 on coursework previously attempted at the institution to continue to receive TEXAS grants.  These amendments would eliminate that requirement and state that an individual is entitled to continue to receive a TEXAS grant if the student makes satisfactory academic progress to qualify for federal student financial aid.  The amendments make provisions for the TEXAS grant to be in addition to TEG grant so long as the amount received does not exceed the demonstrated financial need of the student.  The amendment would authorize an institution of higher education to use other available sources of financial aid, including a loan or a Pell grant, to cover any difference in the amount of the TEXAS grant and the actual amount of tuition and required fees at the institution.  The bill makes similar changes for the TEXAS grant II program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1780

Davis, Y.

Dallas

Relating to payment to a subcontractor under a public work contract.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 2253.101—2253.110.  This bill establishes an alternative dispute resolution process to settle disputes between a subcontractor and prime contractor involving payment for the provision of any public work labor or material under a public work contract.  This remedy would not be an exclusive remedy.  The prime contractor would be required to include in the written contract terms regarding this dispute resolution process.  A governing body that has rulemaking authority, the body would be required to develop rules to govern the negotiation and mediation of a claim under this new subchapter.  For governmental bodies without rulemaking authority, the governmental entity would be required to follow model rules established by the State Office of Administrative Hearings and the office of the Attorney General.

 

The chief administrative officer of a governmental entity would be entitled to receive a copy of a claim pursuant to this section and would be required to direct negotiations between the prime contractor and the subcontractor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1783

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to faculty compensation policies at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9081.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to determine the average compensation of tenured and tenure-track faculty at the institution and make a comparison to the average compensation for similar faculty at public institutions of higher education in the ten most populous states.  The comparison should be between similar institutions of higher education.  If the governing board determines that the average compensation of faculty at a particular rank at the institution is less than the average compensation for faculty at that rank provided by the other states, the governing board would be required to adopt a program to reallocate available resources in a manner that will reduce the percentage difference by one-fourth in the current state fiscal biennium and in the next three biennium by an additional one-fourth.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 1785

Merritt,

Longview

Relating to the establishment of a geriatric education and care research center for the Texas-Louisiana border region.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 74.604.  This bill would allow the board of regents of the UT System to establish the East Texas Center for Border Region Geriatric Studies at the UTHSC at Tyler.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1789

 

SB 277

Chisum,

Pampa

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the continuation of the Board of Professional Engineers and to the regulation of the practice of engineering.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupations Code, Chapter 1001.  This bill represents the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding this board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1796

Talton,

Pasadena

Relating to the repeal of the exception from required disclosure under the public information law of certain information submitted by a potential vendor or contractor.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Repeals Government Code, Section 552.128.  Current law provides an exception to the Public Information Act for information submitted by a potential vendor or contractor to a governmental body in connection with an application for certification as a HUB or a disadvantaged business.  This bill would repeal that exception.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1817

 

SB 1368

Ritter,

Nederland

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to certain fees for students attending institutions in the Texas State University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.5089, 54.511, 54.523, and 54.538.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas State University System to establish increased caps for the medical services fee, the student center fees, the recreational sports fee, and would authorize a student bus service fee for the components of TSUS.  The medical services fee cap would go from $55 to $100; the student bus service fee would go from $46 to $100; the student center fee cap would go from $70 to $100; and the recreational sports fee cap would go from $50 to $100.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 1824

 

SB 1718

Hamric,

Houston

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to adjusting formula funding for institutions of higher education to account for differences between estimated and actual receipts of educational and general funds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.059(c) and adds Section 61.065(c) and (d). This bill would require the Coordinating Board when adopting the basic funding formulas to include a positive or negative adjustment, as appropriate, of the estimated amount of educational and general funds to be received by an institution for the biennium for which the formulas are established to account for the institution’s reconciliation of those funds for the preceding biennium as computed and reported under the new reporting sections.

 

The amendments require the Coordinating Board to adopt a uniform system of financial accounting of all educational and general funds received by an institution including tuition, laboratory fees, student teaching fees, organized activity fees, proceeds from the sale of education and general equipment, and indirect costs recovery fees.  The system must require each institution to reconcile the estimated amount of educational and general funds used to determine state appropriations for the institution for the most recently completed state fiscal biennium to the actual amount of educational and general funds the institution received during the biennium.  Each institution will be required to report its reconciliation to the Coordinating Board, the comptroller, and the Legislative Budget Board at the time required.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1845

Smith, T.

Bedford

Relating to the expiration and appearance of a driver’s license, identification certificate, or commercial driver’s license or permit issued to a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Department of Public Safety when issuing a driver’s license or identification certificate to show that the driver’s license or identification certificate expires on the date corresponding to the end of the period of legal stay as indicated by documentation issued by the federal agency responsible for citizenship and immigration.  Each certificate or license would be stamped on its face with the word “noncitizen.”  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1877

Hartnett,

Dallas

Relating to creating the rural physician relief program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill authorizes the Office of Rural Community Affairs to establish a rural physician relief program for physicians practicing in counties with a population of less than 50,000 or a medically underserved area.  The program would be supported by fees paid by rural physicians to participate in the program and gifts, grants, donations, or contributions.  The bill has several other amendments that are cleanup amendments moving rural heath care programs to the Office of Rural Community Affairs.  See SB 858, Madla.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1882

 

SB 465

Deshotel,

Port Arthur

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to incentives for certain high schools and high school students to participate in the Early High School Graduation Scholarship program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.202—56.207; 54.213(b) and adds Section 56.2075.  This bill would expand the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program to provide assistance for tuition and mandatory fees; currently only tuition.  The amendments lengthen the time period from thirty-six consecutive months to forty-one consecutive months for the student to complete his high school curriculum.  If the student has at least thirty hours of college credit, the student may have forty-five months to get his high school diploma.  The amendments also increase the amount of the scholarship.

 

1.        $2,000/36 months in high school and an additional $1,000 if the student graduated with 15 hours of college credits;

2.        $500/36-41 months in high school and an additional $1,000 if the person graduated with at least 30 hours of college credits; or

3.        $1,000/41—45 months in high school with at least 30 hours of college credit.

 

The bill does provide for a one-time credit for public schools for certain students graduating eligible for this scholarship program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 1887

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to funds received by institutions of higher education to cover overhead expenses of conducting research.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 145.001(c).  This bill strikes the not more than fifty percent of the funds for indirect cost recovery to be used in the General Appropriations Act to reduce the amount of general revenue an institution receives.  The amendment affirmatively states that the funds retained by a defined institution may not be accounted for in an appropriations act in such a way to reduce general revenue appropriated to the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1888

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to a pilot project to allow select public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees in applied science.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0012.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to establish a pilot project to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of authorizing public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs in applied science.  The Coordinating Board would be required to select at least three but not more than five public junior colleges to participate in the pilot project.  A public junior college could not offer more than five baccalaureate degree programs under the project at any time.  The Coordinating Board would be required to recommend that public junior colleges receive substantially the same state support for junior-level and senior-level courses offered under the pilot project as that provided to a general academic teaching institutions for substantially similar courses.  The Coordinating Board would be required to recommend not later than October 1, 2008, whether to continue the offering of baccalaureate degree programs by public junior colleges.  Unless the authority to continue is authorized, the public junior colleges would be prohibited from enrolling new students in the program after the 2009 spring semester.  This section would expire January 1, 2012.  See HB 1544, Bonnen.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1889

 

SB 1200

Morrison,

Victoria

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to the creation of the TexasNextStep grant program to pay tuition and required fees and textbook costs of certain students enrolled in two-year public institutions of higher education in this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.451—56.457.  This bill establishes the TexasNextStep grant program to be administered by the Coordinating Board.  In order to be eligible, a person must be a resident of this state, who not later than the sixteenth month after graduating from high school enrolls for at least one-half of a full course load in an associate degree or certificate program at a public junior college, public technical institute, or public state college.  The student must have applied for any available financial aid or assistance and must have met eligibility requirements necessary to receive federal student financial aid, other than requirements regarding financial need.

 

A person may not receive a grant for more than ninety semester credit hours including any developmental coursework.  The student may receive a TexasNextStep grant regardless of whether the person is eligible for a TEXAS grant or a TEXAS grant II.

 

After the initial award and in order to continue receiving the grants, the student must continue to be enrolled in an associate degree or certificate program, for at least one-half of a full course load, making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree or certificate, and continue to meet the eligibility requirements necessary to receive federal student financial aid, other than requirements regarding financial need.

 

The person receiving the grant could use the money to pay any usual and customary costs of attendance at an eligible institution.  The institution may disperse all or part of the proceeds to an eligible person only if the tuition and required fees and textbook costs incurred by the person at the institution have been paid

 

The Coordinating Board would determine the amount of the TexasNextStep grant by determining the average amount of tuition and required fees and textbook costs for a resident student enrolled full-time in an associate or certificate program for that semester or term.  The Coordinating Board would be required to adopt rules to proportion the amount of the grant to the number of semester credit hours in which a student is enrolled and to require the Coordinating Board to reduce the amount of the grant by the amount of any state or federal gift aid for which the student receiving the grant is eligible if the aid can be applied to the person’s tuition and required fees and textbook costs at the eligible institution.  The institution would not be allowed to charge a person attending the institution who also receives a TexasNextStep grant an amount of tuition and required fees in excess of the amount of the grant, except the institution may charge an additional amount if the person’s residence is outside the junior college district.  The first awards to entering students would be for the 2004-2005 academic year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1890

 

SB 723

Morrison,

Victoria

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to tuition rebates to certain undergraduate students who graduate from an institution of higher education without excessive semester credit hours.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0065(a).  Current law counts transfer credits and course credit earned exclusively by examination in the number of hours attempted when determining if a student is eligible for the $1,000 rebate of undergraduate tuition.  This bill would limit the number of hours attempted for course credit earned exclusively by examination to the number of hours in excess of nine semester credit hours.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1912

 

SB 932

Wolens,

Dallas

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to the authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17421.  This bill would authorize the UT System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $56 million to finance a biomedical research facility at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1919

Capelo,

Corpus Christi

Relating to use of money received under the state tobacco settlement for the state child health plan.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the child health plan account as a dedicated account in the general revenue fund that would consist of all money becoming available to the state each fiscal year as a result of the Comprehensive Settlement Agreement and Release filed in State of Texas v. American Tobacco Company.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1941

 

SB 609

 

HB 3351

Woolley,

Houston

Ellis, R.

Houston

Davis, J.

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston for recovery from Tropical Storm Allison

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17321.  This bill would authorize the University of Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $34.9 million to cover related infrastructure damage cause by Tropical Storm Allison.  See SB 1420, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1961

 

SB 928

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the name of Southwest Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends various sections in the Texas Education Code and renames Southwest Texas State University as the Texas State University at San Marcus.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1963

Menendez,

San Antonio

Relating to the composition of the State Board of Educator Certification.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 21.033(a).  This bill would increase the number from four to six members of SBEC board that must be teachers employed in the public schools and reduce the number of citizens from five to three.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1981

Puente,

San Antonio

Relating to indigent health care, including tertiary care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add an additional fee for registration of a motor vehicle to be collected and deposited into a tertiary care account.  The bill would also increase the fees for intoxification convictions that would be deposited to the credit of the tertiary care account.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2001

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to notice to an employer of a court order requiring an employee to provide medical support for the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires Title IV-D agencies to use the national medical support notice to notify employers of their duty to comply with the medical support for the employee’s child.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2004

 

SB 1214

Marchant,

Carrollton

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to allowing a governmental body to deliberate in a closed meeting regarding the business and financial considerations of a proposed contract.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.0725.  This bill would provide a new exception to the Open Meetings Act allowing a governmental body to conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the business and financial considerations relating to a proposed contract if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third party.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2019

Griggs,

North Richland Hills

Relating to the creation of a state advisory council with authority to promote research, education, treatment, and support activities related to persons with traumatic brain injuries.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council that would be composed of eight representatives from various state agencies to inform and recommend to state leaders policies and programs that will serve persons with a traumatic brain injury and their primary family care givers.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2028

Pena,

Edinburg

Relating to protecting public employees who refuse to perform an illegal act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines state governmental entity to mean a board, commission, department, office, or other state agency in the executive branch of state government, including an institution of higher education.  This bill would prohibit a governmental entity from suspending or terminating the employment of, or taking other adverse personnel action against, a public employee who refuses to perform an illegal act.  The bill provides civil relief for an aggrieved employee.  Each state governmental entity would be required to inform its employees of their rights by posting a sign in a prominent location in the workplace.  The bill makes provisions for an audit of a governmental entity after a suit has been filed under this new chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2032

 

SB 1535

Hochberg,

Houston

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the confidentiality of e-mail addresses under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.137.  This bill provides exceptions to the Public Information Act regarding the confidentiality of e-mail addresses.  The exceptions would apply to contractors, vendors, or respondents to a request for bids or proposals with a governmental body.  An e-mail address that is shown on a letterhead, cover sheet, printed document, or other documents that may be made available to the public are not confidential.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2033

Menendez,

San Antonio

Relating to historically underutilized businesses that perform investment brokerage services for a state agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2161.001 by adding subdivision (4).  This bill would define contract to include an arrangement under which a state agency receives professional or investment brokerage services.  This amendment would require state agencies to use the HUB statutes when procuring investment brokerage services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2040

 

SB 141

Marchant,

Carrollton

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to authorizing certain state agencies to share information for investigative purposes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 555.051.  This new section would apply only to information held by or for the office of attorney general, the Department of Insurance, State Board of Public Accountancy, the Public Utility Commission, or the State Securities Board that relates to a person who is licensed or otherwise regulated by any of those agencies.  This amendment would allow these agencies to share confidential information that is otherwise restricted by law with one or more of the other agencies listed for investigative purposes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2041

Ellis, D.

Livingston

Relating to legislative review and gubernatorial suspension of certain rules of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2001.0321 and repeals Section 2001.032.  This bill establishes the procedures for legislative review and a gubernatorial suspension of rules proposed or adopted by a state agency, including an emergency rule.  See HB 2754, Madden.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2044

 

SB 1121

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the powers and duties of the General Land Office and the accounting and disposition of state-owned real property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Chapter 31.  This bill clarifies the powers and duties of the General Land Office and in particular, the asset management division of the General Land Office regarding accounting for and disposition of state-owned real property.  The bill continues the authority of institutions of higher education to maintain the inventory records of the real property owned by each institution.  The bill also appears to continue the exemption for real property of an institution of higher education from the evaluation by the division regarding property that is unused or substantially underused.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2065

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the authority of the General Land Office to sell certain state-owned real property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the General Land Office to sell real property owned by the state because of the collection of a judgment or debt.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2066

Brown F.

Bryan

Relating to permitting the creation of nonprofit corporations to refund outstanding student loan bonds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 53.47.  This bill authorizes the governing body of a city to incorporate a nonprofit corporation to act on behalf of the city to issue revenue bonds and loan the proceeds thereof to an entity that has assumed the outstanding bond obligations of a nonprofit corporation.  The bonds to be refunded must have been originally issued as qualified scholarship funding bonds of a higher education authority.  See HB 2752, Brown, F.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2067

 

SB 1701

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the Department of Information Resources’ management of certain electronic and telecommunications project.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends various statutes relating to the Department of Information Resources.  The bill statutorily establishes the quality assurance team by using employees of the department, LBB, and the State Auditor’s office.  In the various reviews performed by DIR a new element of review will be return on investment and a cost-benefit analysis.  The bill directs additional information to be furnished in each agency’s strategic plan for information resources and the biennial operating plans.  The bill does repeal the section stating that the division would be funded from projects as directed by the legislature. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2075

Hilderbran,

Kerrville

Relating to regulating health and safety conditions at youth camps.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require inspection of the water supply at a youth camp licensed by the Department of Health.  The bill would also require the Department of Health to allow a camp to correct a violation while the investigation and inspection is occurring.  A penalty may not be imposed if the violation is corrected during an investigation and inspection.  See SB 237 and SB 239, Fraser.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2081

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to an exemption from the Engineering Practices Act for certain public works.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupations Code, Section 1001.053.  Currently, a public work project that involves structural, electrical, or mechanical engineering is exempt from the Texas Engineering Practice Act if the value of the completed project is $8,000 or less.  This amendment would increase that amount to $20,000.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2101

Wong,

Houston

Relating to a Texas professional teacher’s academy program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize one or more professional educators to establish a private school as an academy to provide a general education of elementary or secondary students.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2104

Merritt,

Longview

Relating to the date coverage begins under the health benefit plans provided by the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Section 1551.105.  Beginning June 1, 2003, employees entitled to coverage under the health benefit plan of the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act would be entitled to automatic coverage and all other coverages beginning on the 90th day after the date on which the employee begins employment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2109

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Relating to the adoption of the 21st Century Technology College and Careers Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Chapter 312.  This bill authorizes the Texas Workforce Commission to establish a grant program to assist partnerships in promoting voluntary educational improvement and workforce development opportunities primarily for secondary and postsecondary students.  The commission could award a base allocation of $100,000 to one or more partnerships in each region of the state.  The partnership receiving the grant could develop initiatives to improve transition from educational institutions to the workforce, emphasize postsecondary education; provide students opportunity to apply their academic work to authentic problems outside of the school environment; emphasize mathematics, science, engineering, and technology; and encourage students to take rigorous academic courses and to complete the recommended high school curriculum.  The bill does establish an interagency advisory committee which would include a representative of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 2110

Rangel,

Kingsville

Relating to abolishing the State Board of Educator Certification and to transferring its powers and duties to the commissioner of education and the Education Agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would abolish SBEC and transfer its powers and duties to the commissioner of education and the Texas Education Agency.  Effective date:  June 30, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 2116

 

SB 1397

Brown, F.

Bryan

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to the operation of Texas Task Force 1.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 88.301—88.303.  The Texas Task Force 1 would be established as a program of the Texas Engineering Extension Service to provide training and responding to assist in search, rescue, and recovery efforts following natural or man-made disasters.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2117

Brown, B.

Terrell

Relating to the protection of students and employees from acts of violence on campus by another student or employees at a state-supported institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.245.  This bill would authorize the chief administrative officer of a state-supported institution of higher education or his designee to remove an individual student or employee that the officer determines is a substantial and material threat to human life on campus.  The bill does require the institution to develop an adequate due process for any student or employee affected by this section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2123

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to the membership of the board of regents of the University of Texas System and the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 65.11, 65.12, 85.11, and 85.12; adds Sections 65.111 and 85.111.  This bill would require the Governor to appoint a student regent to the University of Texas System board of regents and the Texas A&M University System board of regents.  Each general academic teaching institution of the respective systems would be required to solicit applicants for the position of student regent.  Each student government would be required to select three individuals to be screened by the respective system student advisory council.  The council would be required to forward three names to the chancellor of the system and the chancellor would be required to forward the names of qualified students to serve as a regent to the Governor.  The Governor shall appoint one of those individuals to serve as a student regent for a term of two years.

 

The membership of these boards of regents would be expanded from nine members to eleven members.

 

The student regent must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in a general academic teaching institution in the respective system at the time of appointment.  The student regent will have the same powers and duties, including voting privileges, as other board members.  See HB 719, Naishtat and SB 111, Barrientos.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2143

 

SB 912

Naishtat,

Austin

Ratliff,

Mt. Pleasant

Relating to surplus and salvage computer equipment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2175.001(1), 2175.128, and 2175.304(b) and (c); adds Section 2175.306.  This bill expands the definition of assistance organization to include a nonprofit computer bank that solicits, stores, refurbishes, and redistributes used computer equipment public school students and their families.  The amendments authorize state agencies and institutions of higher education to transfer surplus or salvage data processing property to an assistance organization designated by a school district.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2168

Dunnam,

Waco

Relating to state purchasing of recycled products.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2155.445 by adding Subsection (d).  This bill expands the definition of recycled product to include recycled steel products.  The preference for recycled steel products would include construction projects operated by institutions of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2169

 

SB 1628

Telford,

De Kalb

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to the payment of retirement benefits to retirees who are employed by certain public educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 824.601.  This bill defines third-party entity to mean an entity retained by a Texas public educational institution to provide personnel to the institution that perform duties or provides services that employees of the institution would otherwise perform or provide.  A retiree would not be entitled to a benefit payment if the retiree is employed by a third-party entity and performs duties or provides services on behalf of or for the benefit of the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2174

Heflin,

Houston

Relating to illegal uses of confidential information by persons having legal access to confidential information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.0085.  This bill creates a new criminal offense when a person who legally has access to confidential information and permits an unauthorized person to inspect the confidential information; discloses confidential information to a person not authorized to receive the information; or uses the confidential information for an unauthorized purpose.  This new offense is a Class A misdemeanor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2210

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to the indirect cost recovery program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, by adding Section 2106.015.  This new section would exempt a public retirement system and its trust funds from the state indirect costs recovery program unless the retirement system receives a federally reimbursable indirect cost for a support service.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2232

Jones

Lubbock

Relating to the expansion of the Lubbock County Hospital District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill sets up the procedures for a county to be included in the boundaries of the Lubbock County Hospital District.  If a properly prepared petition is presented to the board of managers, the county seeking annexation into the district would hold an election to approve the annexation.  The bill also makes provisions for the merger of another hospital district into the Lubbock County Hospital District.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2237

Kuempel,

Seguin

Relating to the financial assistance to survivors of certain law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and others.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 615.003.  This bill decreases the required number of members in an organized volunteer-fire fighting unit that would be needed to make the members eligible for these benefits.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 2239

 

SB 534

Paxton,

Frisco

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the applicability of the rule against perpetuities to trusts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the rule against perpetuities or remoteness in vesting as the rule relates to trust.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 2240

 

SB 575

Paxton,

Frisco

Harris, C.

Arlington

Relating to adoption of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the Uniform Prudent Investor Act regarding trusts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003. 

 

 

 

HB 2241

 

SB 573

Paxton,

Frisco

Harris, C.

Arlington

Relating to adoption of the Uniform Principal and Income Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the Uniform Principal and Income Act regarding trusts.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

HB 2243

 

SB 762

Smith, W.

Baytown

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the application of the open meetings law and the public information law to meetings and information regarding certain security plans of a municipal hospital, a hospital district, or a health department.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, by adding Sections 551.090 and 552.145.  The governing board of a municipal hospital or a hospital district may not be required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate the details, or specific occasions for implementation, of a security plan for the protection of hospital facilities or operations from an act of terrorism.

 

The bill also creates an exception to the Public Information Act for information that relates to a security plan of a municipal hospital, a hospital district, or a municipal or county health department for the protection of health care facilities or operations from an act of terrorism.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2249